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

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Some Headway

THE no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha, which the government of Narasimha Rao survived by the skin of its teeth through a characteristically sleazy operation, was as much a tussle between the Left Front-Janata Dal on the one hand and the BJP on the other, though nominally both supported the motion right to the end. It was, on the face of it, ludicrous for the BJP to support a motion expressing lack of confidence in the government for, among other grounds, specifically "its compromising attitude to communal forces resulting in failure to tackle the threat to the secular basis of the Constitution arising out of the Ayodhya dispute and its aftermath" and "not bringing to book those responsible for the demolition of the mosque structure at Ayodhya". It supported the motion, moved by the CP1(M), not only out of the calculation that the possible defeat of the government might hasten mid-term elections in which it claims to be confident of significantly improving its strength in parliament if not of actually winning an outright majority. The BJP needed the no-confidence motion to break the logjam in the Congress(l) after the demolition of the Babri masjid in December last and the communal, mostly anti-Muslim, violence sparked by it which has compelled prime minister Narasimha Rao, who had till then followed a more or less explicit strategy of tilting to the BJP to ensure the continuance of his minority government, to strike anti-BJP postures and, most important of all, dismiss the four BJP state governments formed after the last elections. The objective of the left parties and the Janata Dal, on the other hand, had been known: by confronting the Congress(I) with the threat of its government being defeated in the vote on the non-confidence motion they hsped to bring pressure on the ruling party to effect a change of leadership, removing Narasimha Rao and his group whom they have, with good reason, held responsible both for the government's complacency, and worse, towards the Hindutva forces led by the BJP which made it possible for these forces to carry out the demolition of the Babri masjid and for the economic policies of rushing headlong into liberalisation and globalisa tion under pressure exerted quite openly by the IMF and the World Bank.

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