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

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Transformation of Opposition Politics in West Bengall-Congress(I), Trinamul and 1998 Lok Sabha Elections

The results of the 12th Lok Sabha elections suggest a dramatic change has occurred in the equation of oppositional politics in West Bengal, The success of Mamata Banerjee's breakaway Trinamul Congress, together with a dramatic increase in support for the BJP. has relegated the Congress(l) to the periphery of electoral politics in that state. The results can be seen as confirmation of the Congress(I) rank and file's declining faith in the leadership of the party in West Bengal and a rejection of its accommodating stance towards the ruling Left Front Although it would appear premature at this stage to suggest that the Trinamul Congress constitutes a realisation of the historical potential for the emergence in West Bengal of a specifically regionally-oriented Congress freed from the constraints of the party's central leadership, the split in the state Congress should nevertheless be viewed as symptomatic of a wider malaise within the party's organisational structure and should send a clear message to the party hierarchy in New Delhi that any reju vanation of that structure needs to have its genesis at the state level and below.

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