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

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Elections and the Working Class-Puzzling Political Response

Puzzling Political Response A K Roy THE 11th Lok Sabha election was a crucial political battle for the working class. The major issues before the country were the new economic policy (NEP) and corruption. The working class was opposed to the NEP and the Left exposed corruption. It also came to light that while other parties like Congress( I), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Janata Dal (JD) were involved in corruption the left parties remained free from it. These favourable factors created expectation that the Left would fare well in the election. But this did not happen. After having a United Front government at the centre with left participation and support barring BJP from power, though there is an attempt to present the subsequent events as a political success, the stark fact remains that the strength of the Left has decreased in the election and the working class has been further marginalised in politics. The UF government may have the number one from JD and the number two from CPI but is actually dependent on Congress(I) for its survival and is to follow its economic line. So the old NEP continues and the government's first budget advocates disinvestment, liberalisation and concessions to the multinational companies (MNC). Even the controversial Pension Bill has been passed which the previous Congress(I) government had failed to enact. With anti-working class policies continuing the Left is in a dilemma having one foot in the government and the other outside. Those who were delighted to see the right fragmented in the election are now finding themselves divided in the subsequent political process.

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