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

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Left in the Lurch: The Demise of the World's Longest Elected Regime?

Losses by the long ruling Left Front in a series of local and national elections since 2008 cannot be explained without an understanding of the nature of "party-society" in rural West Bengal. The preponderance of the party over the social space, the transformation of the party from a hegemonic force into a violative one and ultimately the ruptures in the "party-society" have all gone on to loosen the dominance of the Left Front in West Bengal. As marginalised civil society reasserts itself and as the opposition coalesces around the resentment engendered against the ruling coalition, a new kind of oppositional politics is emerging in West Bengal, possibly on identitarian lines.

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Left in the Lurch: The Demise of the World’s Longest Elected Regime?

Dwaipayan Bhattacharyya

Losses by the long ruling Left Front in a series of local and national elections since 2008 cannot be explained without an understanding of the nature of “partysociety” in rural West Bengal. The preponderance of the party over the social space, the transformation of the party from a hegemonic force into a violative one and ultimately the ruptures in the “party-society” have all gone on to loosen the dominance of the Left Front in West Bengal. As marginalised civil society reasserts itself and as the opposition coalesces around the resentment engendered against the ruling coalition, a new kind of oppositional politics is emerging in West Bengal, possibly on identitarian lines.

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