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

Bidyut ChakrabartySubscribe to Bidyut Chakrabarty

Defying the Pattern

On the basis of evidence, culled from the 2016 assembly elections, this opinion piece reiterates the argument that political process shaping voters' preferences needs to be contextually understood to meaningfully explain the poll outcome in India.

Left Front's 2006 Victory in West Bengal

In the 2006 assembly elections in West Bengal, in terms of the number of legislative seats and vote share the Left Front came out far ahead of the other political parties. With a fractured opposition, democracy, if not marginalised, is certainly a casualty in this state. Given the failure of the opposition parties the ruling party needs to discharge the role of a responsible opposition from within the government. This article also discusses the changing nature of the Left Front leadership and its ideology in a reinvented form

1998 Elections in West Bengal-Dwindling of the Left Front

Dwindling of the Left Front? Bidyut Chakrabarty Despite a clear polarisation between urban and rural voters, the 1998 West Bengal poll results reconfirm the popularity of the left coalition at the grass roots, Though the electoral result, wherein the Left Front's share of votes declined, suggests more of a negative vote against the state government, the Trinamul Congress- BJP combination nevertheless did provide a strong forum to those opposed to the Left Front, especially in urban areas. Besides the vilification campaign against Mamat a Banerjee and the deplorable conditions of civic amenities, the declining industrial employment opportunities has rendered the CPI(M)ted government unpopular among urban masses. Though the share of urban votes is less than rural votes, the Left Front can continue to neglect the grievances of the city-dwellers only at its own peril.

Religion and Nationalism

provincial assembly. But the proposed induction of Sarat Chandra Bose in the council of ministers, and that too in charge of the home department, was out of the question. He was therefore conveniently arrested under the Defence of India Rules and put away. His followers went into the government along with Huq and Mookerjee; Mookerjee was designated the finance minister. His diaries narrate in expansive detail the hollowness of so- called provincial autonomy: the ministers were little more than dummies; British civil servants, directly advising the governor and in turn directly advised by him, conducted the administration much according to their own whims. Apologists on behalf of the imperial rulers might argue that since a war was on, and the Japanese were knocking at Bengal's borders, no risk could be taken and ministers carried away by narrow patriotic emotions had to be restrained. Be that as it may, these diaries somewhat come to life while describing the tension that steadily built up on the issue. Matters were brought to a head by the wholesale arrest of Congress leaders in August 1942 and the subsequent mass upsurge all over the country. The Bengal ministers belonging to the 'progressive coalition' government watched helplessly as the police went on the rampage, picking up indiscriminately young men and women
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