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

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Down, But Not Out

The editorial “Can the Congress Recover?” (EPW, 28 May 2016) is thought-provoking. The vote share of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the 2014 elections (roughly 39%) indicated that there was ample room for other parties. Now, in the wake of recent assembly elections in West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Assam, this factor is being stretched by the voices of far-flung, sometimes disparate, regions.

The successful electoral pact of the Bharatiya Janata Party with the regional Asom Gana Parishad and the Bodoland People’s Front in Assam shared a majoritarian concern insofar as the issue of illegal migration from Bangladesh is concerned. But the others demonstrated the potential of coming together under one umbrella as the rationale for the proverbial “third front” in the next general elections within the elbow room of heterogeneity. If the Congress were to join forces with the others, a two-way (rather than three-way) situation could shape up quite spontaneously. A majoritarian approach axiomatically assumes an opposition which absorbs diversity.

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