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

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Elections-Little Cheer for Congress(l)

the eyes and poured acid in the eye- sockets were probably lowly-paid constables who could well have been in the position of the wretched vie- tims themselves, had they not been able to get a job. But when such incidents are, on rare occasions, highlighted, it is necessary for the government and the administration to maintain that the legitimacy bestowed upon the police, including in all aspects of its functioning, does not necessarily include humiliation of a suspect, torture and worse. Surely it is not accidental that just as the Windings in Bhagalpur are being highlighted, news has come from Bangalore that a suspect in police custody has been admitted to hospital with severe burn injuries caused, according to police, by his attempt to commit suicide by dousing himself with kerosene while being tied to a table and setting himself on fire, Elections Little Cheer for Congress(l) LEAVING aside the northeast, elections were due for six Lok Sabha constituencies (five in Uttar Pradesh and one in West bengal) and 31 assembly constituencies (Andhra Pradesh 2, Bihar 4, Gujarat 2, Haryana 3, Himachal Pradesh 2. Karnataka 2, Madhya Pradesh 2, Maharashtra 2, Orissa 3, Rajasthan 1, Uttar Pradesh 5 and West Bengal 6). However, the Election Commission decided not to hold elections to any of the vacant Lok Sabha seats, and for only 15 ot the 34 vacant assembly seats in Gujarat, Haryana. Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa and Rajas- thun. The most important compulsion for holding the elections to the vacant assembly seats in Maharashtra, Orissa and Rajasthan was that the chief ministers of these three states had to be elected to the state legislatures before the end of November in order to fulfil constitutional requirements. But it would have looked odd if elections were held only for these seats. I lence.t perhaps, the selective nature of the polls. Clearly, it was considered inadvisable to hold elections either for the Lok Sabha or the stale assembly in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar (the Muslims in those states could not be allowed in the prevailing circumstances an opportunity to express an opinion on the performance of the Congress (I) since its return to power both at the Centre and in the state), or in West Bengal (where the Congress (I) was bound to lose in view of the many problems of its own

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