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

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Assam- The Left s Folly

about the larger aims of the leaders the agitation, or to be strongly critical of the many undemocratic aspects of the agitation, including its encouragement to divisive and fissiparous tendencies, its intolerance of any kind of dissent on the issues of the agitation, its persistent attacks upon working class organisations, its encouragement to chauvinism, etc, need not necessarily mean that one should support the holding of elections under conditions which even the Chief Election Commissioner has acknowledged are far from normal. Even if one were to grant that the Centre has certain 'constitutional compulsions' to hold the elections, considering that the present abnormal situation in Assam has been essentially the creation of and the result of cynical partisan calculations by the Congress party which has been in power in Assam uninterruptedly since Independence (but for a short interregnum of the Janata government in 1977-79), there was no reason for parties other than the Congress to come in anyway to the aid of the Centre in clearing a mess made by itself. In fact, all the parties, even those now taking part in the coming elections, admit that the voters' lists are highly inaccurate. The leaders of the linguistic and religious minorities maintain that the revision in 1979, carried out by an administration under the influence of the leaders of the agitation drastically and quite recklessly deleted the names of a very large number of eligible voters on the specious suspicion that they were foreign nationals'. The leaders of the agitation maintain that they are defective because the names of a very large number of 'foreign nationals' continue to remain on the lists. An even more glaring defect of the electoral rolls is that since there has been no fresh enumeration and revision since 1979, they do not contain the names of hundreds of thousands of citizens who in the last four years have attained voting age' It is such a transparently defective, indeed invalid, electoral roll that is going to be the basis for the conduct of the coming polls in Assam.

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