ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Old Order Changeth

THE COMING ELECTIONS, Morarji Desai said only a few days ago, are likely to cause many surprises. That was the understatement of the year. And yet, though many agreed with the former Finance Minister, few were prepared for the slaughter that the Congress faced in Madras, considered by many as the "model State" boasting a good administration, for the defeat of the Congress President Karnaraj at the hands of a mere student, a novice in politics; for the defeat of S K Patil, long known as the uncrowned king of Bombay, by a trade union leader with no resources apart from the goodwill of the people; for the defeat of Atulya Ghosh, Treasurer of the AICC and a powerful member of the "Syndicate"; for the defeat of the Chief Ministers of Bihar and Bengal, not to speak of the Chief Minister of Madras, Bhaktavatsalam. What had happened overnight? Was the old order changing, yielding place to new? Was the Congress finally and irrevocably on its way out, dishonoured and in disarray?

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