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

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Violence and Elections-Flexible Conscience

Violence and Elections Flexible Conscience Amiya Rao NOW that the Assam elections are over, some of the statements of Indira Gandhi regarding violence during elections, made by her when the West Bengal elections were due. make interesting reading. While campaigning in Calcutta in 1982 she addressed a Press Conference at Raj Bhavan on May 8 on the first day of her two- day election tour of the state and was reported to have expressed her deep concern at the ''atmosphere of violence prevailing in the state on the eve of the Assembly elections". She doubted "if the people will be able to cast their votes" and asked, "what kind of elections would it be if the people cannot cast their votes?" When questioned if her party would make a representation to the Election Commission to postpone the elections on the ground of violence, she replied "whatever they might do. violence must stop, and the Election (JJommission must ensure that everybody was able to exercise his franchise without fear of violence". The Congress(l) made every effort (which led to -bloodbaths in the streets of Calcutta) to get the elections indefinitely postponed, all in good faith of course, because of the Prime Minister's genuine concern for the voters not being able to cast their votes in that atmosphere of violence. She had chided the Chief Minister of West Bengal for his failure to control violence

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