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

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Performance Counts, After All

EARLY pointers to the outcome of the elections to the four state assemblies have only just begun to be available as we go 10 press. In any ease, the results of first-past-the- post elections tend to overstate the underlying political shifts. Even so, available indications suggest that these elections have advanced and consolidated the major change in the political scene since the Lok Sabha elections and the formation of the BJP-led coalition government in Delhi: the rapid re-emergence of the Congress as one of the two principal poles of politics at the national level In that context it was fortuitous that in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi, the three major states which went to the polls this week, the elections involved a direct contest between the Congress and the BJP, with none of the other parties playing a role worth mentioning. With the Congress seemingly poised to register resounding victories in Rajasthan and Delhi, as had been generally expected and predicted by the numerous opinion polls, and to retain power in Madhya Pradesh, contrary to expectations and predictions, the party will have vastly enlarged the options available to it in terms of strategy and tactics in the months to come, certainly out of proportion to its present numerical strength in the Lok Sabha. Il is even less necessary now than before for the Congress to be jostled by political hustlers of different hues into hurriedly bringing down the BJP-lal coalition, though it must be said to the credit of the parly leadership that it had the sagacity to resist such pressures even al a time when the hustlers seemed to be calling all the shots and the Congress's own situation appeared hardly short of desperate. Indeed the turn-around in the party's fortunes has not a little to do with that exercise of restraint.

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