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

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Grams Econweekly Editor Krishna Raj Assistant Editors Gautam Navlakha Ignatius Chithelen Editorial Staff K Vijayakumar, Cleatus Antony Advertisement Manager Meera Mohan Manager T D Sell Assembly Elections IT may seem, on the face of things, that the elections to the assemblies of 11 states and the Union Territory of Pondicherry have made very little difference to the political set-up in the country. In concrete terms, the only change is in Sikktm where President's rule will have to give way to an elected government headed by Nar Bahadur Bhandari whose Sikkim Sangram Parishad has won a resounding victory over the Congress(I). However, the outcome of the assembly elections in fact reflects the realities of the Indian political situation far more accurately than the almost clean sweep of the Lok Sabha elections by the Congress(I) in last December. Indeed the significance of the assembly elections lies precisely in the possibility they have created of mitigating some of the potentially dangerous tendencies encouraged by the elections to the Lok Sabha. The Congress(I)'s campaign in the Lok Sabha elections had been based on,a single issue: the supposed threat to the unity and integrity of the country and the need for a 'strong government', such as could only be provided by the party, to face these threats. The Congress(I) calculated that the same sentiment would sway the electorate in the assembly elections and this calculation no doubt led to the assembly elections being advanced. As it has turned out, the assembly elections have brought out a reassertion of the more long-term regional and sectional factors in Indian politics. This is bound to have significant, and at this particular conjuncture on the whole beneficent, consequences.

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