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

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Miracle in Bihar

'Miracle' in Bihar Nireekshak THE HINDU dutifully reported the Prime Minister as saying in Trivandrum that she did not think "that the Congress Party has any plan or deliberate move" to topple non-Congress Governments. Not many agreed. Indian Express was emphatic that "the Congress did play an important part" in bringing down the non-Congress Ministries in West Bengal, Haryana, Punjab and Bihar. Times of India sharply reminded the party of "the question of standards of public life". 'The Congress Party" the paper warned "cannot go on ignoring this issue without doing irreparable damage to the future of democracy in the country''. The loudest in denouncing the Congress was the Bharatiya Kranti Dal whose Executive was reported by Hindustan Standard as condemning "the undesirable means by which the Congress Party in Bihar has toppled the popular government". The same Executive, however, authorised Ajoy Mukherjec, former United Front Chief Minister of West Bengal, "to adopt all peaceful means to topple the Congress-Progressive Democratic Front Coalition Ministry in his State'! ON TREE-TOPS The new Chief Minister of Bihar, B P Mandal, docs not seem to have endeared himself to the press. B K R Kabad writing in Times of India said that it was all reminiscent of the King in 'The Gondoliers" who Wished all men as rich as he So to the top of every tree Promoted everybody. Statesman was sharper. Bihar, said the paper, had just seen the distribution of "rewards for ratting". "What greater encouragement to unprincipled defections can there be than that the principal defectors should be rewarded with the highest offices in the State Government?" it asked. A larger part of the blame "by any fair criteria", it said, "must go to the Congress than to the non-Congress parties''. At no time, the paper pointed out, were there "more than two turncoats in the ranks of non- Congress Chief Ministers"; by contrast, the Congress had installed in just three months at least three defectors from United Front Ministries as Chief Ministers. This was not a record that the Congress or Indira Gandhi could bo proud of.

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