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

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Thawing of the Oder-Neisse

a round of mid-term elections would somehow restore to order the crazy-quilt patterns yielded by the general elections in many States. Unfortunately, there has been very little in the attitudes of both the Congress and the other parties to indicate that this expectation will be realised in the States which are now headed for fresh elections. The Congress will no doubt point to the experience of the United Front govern- ments and make its claim to provide stable governments its main election slogan. But can the claim be sustained? Events in West Bengal and now in Bihar have exposed the inability of the party to pull together. Worse, they have exposed the failure of the party's central leadership to provide a lead to its State units and to ensure compliance from them. The central leaders have been unable to agree among themselves on the line to be followed in situations like those arising after the fall of the non-Congress governments in West Bengal and Bihar. In Bengal it is well known that Congress entry into the P C Ghosh ministry had less than enthusiastic support from the Prime Minister. Later when the government was forced to resign by the defection of a group of Congressmen, State party boss Atulya Ghosh publicly complained that prominent party leaders in New Delhi had encouraged the defectors. There have been, similarly, differences in the Congress Working Committee over the attitude to the Mandal ministry and the fall of the ministry has been greeted by the general secretary of the Congress parliamentary party with the comment that this at last should impress upon the party the futility of supporting minority governments.

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