Sonepur – the very place marks all the difference between the SSP and other political parties whose conferences were held at Ahmedabad, Bombay and Patna. Sonepur is a small village on the side of the Ganga facing Patna while Ahmedabad, Bombay and Patna are…you know.
Acute crisis in the name of ideology has been brewing in the Samyukta Socialist Party (SSP) since the death of Dr Ram Manohar Lohia three years ago.
As long as he dominated the party, none dared challenge his leadership. But its highly individualistic leadership is now finding it difficult to replace Lohia while the question of collective responsibility is yet to be settled.
The Sonepur national convention of SSP held at Sonepur condemned the CPM Government in West Bengal for its failure to maintain law and order, its stand over Congress split is somewhat like the CPM. “The present split in the Congress has no ideological basis,” notes SSP’s political resolution.
In 1967 assembly election SSP had won 67 seats in Bihar, 44 in UP, 19 in Kerala, 10 in MP, 8 in Rajasthan, 7 in West Bengal, 6 in Karnataka, 4 each in Maharashtra, Assam and Manipur, 2 each in Orissa and Tamil Nadu and 1 seat in Punjab.
The SSP had also increased its tally from 6 to 23 in the Lok Sabha in 1967 election. (For details, see chart in the article, reproduced below.)
Excerpts from Frontier 24 January 1970
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