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

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West Bengal- Area of Silence

West Bengal Area of Silence Ajit Roy writes: EVEN 10 days before the scheduled polls for the West Bengal state assembly, there are very few overt signs of popular interest in the coming contest. Indeed, the mass meetings addressed so far by the prime minister and the state chief minister have failed to draw the normally expected crowds. One reason for this apparent popular indifference may have been the lack of a genuine or serious contest so far. While the Left Front, or the CPI(M) more realistically speaking, had long ago set in motion its well- oiled election machine, its principal opponent, the Congress(I), is yet to do so even at this late stage. Of course, the Indian voters have shown on more than one occasion that they cannot be taken for granted, that they can have a will and an aim of their own, derived from some sort of consensus arrived at in some undemonstrative manner. But nothing at this stage indicates that the Left Front faces any danger of losing its majority. Indeed, even in the 1984 Lok Sabha elections, held under extraordinary circumstances, which had led to a significant swing away from the Left Front in favour of the Congress(I), the Left Front had not lost its majority support. In terms of Assembly segments, even in 1984 the Left Front had secured majority in 177 constituencies as against 117 constituencies which had gone to the Congress(I).

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