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

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Congress Defeat

WHILE only four states went to the polls in the current phase of assembly elections, and of these only two may be said to be major ones, the outcome of the elections constitutes one of the worst electoral debacles the Congress Party has ever suffered. The party's present strength in the Lok Sabha, where it barely has a majority, comes mainly from the southern states and its defeat in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, and the apparent comprehensiveness of the defeat, cannot but raise questions about the moral and political legitimacy of Narasimha Rao's government as much as about the party's prospects in the next parliamentary elections due in 1996. Another five states will go to the polls next February and precisely for that reason, though the knives are no doubt out, any direct challenges to Narasimha Rao within his party, as prime minister and as party president, may not be immediately forthcoming. But it is difficult to believe that he can accomplish very much by way of shoring up his own position and that of his government in the time he has fortuitously gained.

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