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Long Lease for the UF

government in West Bengal has entered a very critical phase of its existence. The voting by the members of the State Assembly in the by-election to fill up two vacancies in the State Upper Chamber has exposed the erosion of the strength and unity of the UF. The two seats have been shared between the UF and the Congress. And the poll figures reveal that even the winning UF candidate failed to secure six of the coalition votes, which were cast for the Congress candidate. The defeated UF nominee lost 19 votes altogether, 18 of which went to his victorious Congress rival. Political analysts believe that the six votes lost by the UF candidate belonged to the members who are reported to have secretly gone over to the Congress in addition to the five who have publicly defected. These six, constrained to keep their switching of loyalty secret for fear of public reaction, have merely been biding time according to these sources, for a more opportune moment to make an open declaration. The 19 votes withheld from the second UF candidate, therefore, comprise 13 others who have opted for a course of action, inimical to the continuation of the present UF government. Knowledgeable circles link these manoeuvres with the recent tearing campaign jointly conducted by PSP and SSP against the Left Communists. The general body meeting of UF legislators has decided, however, to defer discussion of the betrayal till the session of the Assembly is adjourned.

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