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

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Fear of Elections

Fear of Elections THE decline of the Congress(I) is so much more in evidence today when it may be said to be running the government in Delhi by proxy than at the time of its defeat in the 1989 elections to the Lok Sabha. The hope entertained by the party's leadership and rank and file when towards the end of last year after the fall of the V P Singh government it decided to prop up Chandra Shekhar's band of Janata Dal turncoats who between them could barely muster one-tenth of the Lok Sabha's strength, that it was embarking on a replay of the events of 1979 when it had installed the puppet government of Charan Singh only to pull it down within months and ride triumphantly back to power in the ensuing elections, could not have proved more misplaced. But some such outcome should in fact have been anticipated, for the parallel between 1979 and 1990 was clearly a contrived one. On the earlier occasion the Congress(I) had installed Charan Singh as prime minister as part of a well worked out strategy to pull down the Janata Party government and to force a general election, whereas last year the party extended support to Chandra Shekhar for precisely the opposite reason: because it did not want to face an election.

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