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

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WEST BENGAL- A Made to Order Election

THE usual stock-in-trade for an election review, viz, statistics of votes polled, has only a very limited relevance to an understanding of the political configuration of the West Bengal electorate in the elections to the State Assembly. Even if the accusations and allegations of rigged polls, voiced by the Left Front leaders and the Leftist press in Calcutta are brushed aside, what one knows from direct evidence and careful assessment of all that has come out in the Establishment press leads one to conclude that widespread terror and manipulations were resorted to by the ruling party and the complaisant administration to ensure the 'win' for Congress(R), Left press and spokesmen have alleged that when eleventh hour intelligence reports and the Prime Minister's own assessment during her eve- of-poll whistle-stop campaign raised doubts about Congress(R)'s success in the polls, well-prepared contingency plans providing for open and bold tampering with the election process were put into operation and carried out with ruthless efficiency. In any case, the actual outcome in a number of key constituencies is, on the face of it, so much divergent from the secular trend that it cannot but raise quite a few pertinent question?, particularly in view of the fact that none of the pollsters or correspondents who had filled newspaper columns with their analyses and prognoses before the elections ever conceded anything but a slight edge to Congress! R) over CPI(M).

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