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

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SPECIAL 301-Impermissible Procedure

Fractured Politics FOR all the exchange of heated words between the government, the Election Commission and 'all the major political parties', the uncertainty surrounding the revival of the electoral process in Punjab has not lifted. Considering the all-round hostility that the idea has generated, with BJP and the Left being reluctant contestants and the Congress(I) avoiding the Punjab campaign altogether, there is every possibility of this fresh initiative1 in the State being snuffed out. To begin with there is the curious conduct of a government that has been making much of its eagerness to find a solution to the Punjab problem. Having overruled the president's objections and promulgated an ordinance notifying elections in the State it subsequently climbed down and pressed the EC to postpone the date of the election. It is not unlikely that the EC, acting either independently or on advice, had fixed this schedule to call the government's bluff. It is perhaps merely a coincidence, but nevertheless one of some significance, that the announcement of the new date of June 12 was immediately preceded by the splintering of the Shiromani Akali Dal, after a brief unity of four months, into several groups of barely any consequence, leading to the almost total irrelevance of Simranjit Singh Mann in State politics.

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