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

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Politics of a Sort

The Haryana election debacle, many had thought, would have a sobering effect on prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and induce him to take his party and partymen more seriously, try to introduce a measure of democratic functioning in the party and in the process divest himself of the party presidentship and hand over the post to someone with the ability and inclination to devote himself fully to managing party affairs. The prime minister himself encouraged such speculation: hitherto virtually inaccessible to even members of the cabinet, not to talk of MPs and other partymen, he encouraged members of the Congress(I) to meet him in large numbers and it was widely publicised that in less than a week after the Haryana elections he met as many as 300 of the ruling party's MPs. As an earnest of his changed attitude to the party he also appointed a 13-member committee headed by K Karunakaran, former chief minister of Kerala, and including six other ex-chief ministers to review the government's socio-economic policies and make its recommendations within a month. Another panel was appointed to suggest ways of revamping the Congress(l) and holding organisational elections by next January.

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