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

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WEST BENGAL-Behind the Violence

Behind the Violence IF war, as Clausewitz says, is the continuation of politics by other means, then electioneering may be regarded as the continuation of politics in a more accentuated form. This is borne out by the events in West Bengal following the announcement of the general election to the Lok Sabha and the State Vidhan Sabha, For one thing, inter-party viol- ence, which has been vitiating the political atmosphere of the State for more than 18 months now, has received a further impetus and taken a big leap forward, both quantitatively and qualitatively. Fourteen deaths in political skirmishes in different parts of the State on a single day (January 17) is a record even for West Bengal and bomb-attacks on leaders like Joyti Basu and Abdulla Rasul CPI(M) and Sushil Chatterjee (CPI) or the murder of the Secretary of the Hooghly District Forward Bloc are symptoms of an aggravation of violence which even earlier suffered from few inhibitions. Indeed, the rising tempo of violence accompanying the progress of the election campaign has created such a scare that the Chief Electoral Officer for the State is finding it extremely difficult to set up the polling apparatus. It is reported in the Press that only about 4,000 persons have so far volunteered for the jobs as against the total requirements

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