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

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GUJARAT-Debacle of Populist Politics

GUJARAT Debacle of Populist Politics Sujata Patel THE anti-reservation agitation has reared its head once again in Gujarat from the middle of February. As the events unfold and the agitation gains in strength, a pattern seems to emerge. One, the government does not seem to want negotiations. Two, its ambivalent policy statements aid the growth of the movement. Three, police repression against the agitationists is help- ing the consolidation of the movement. Fourth, the agitation which was restricted in its earlier phases has deliberately been allowed to gather strength. Fifth, certain elements in the Congress and in the opposition, specially the BJP, are actively involved in the agitation. Any analysis of the agitation has thus to deal with the state's role as well as the contradictions of the Congress Party's populist rhetoric and lumpen political culture.

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