By Paranjoy Guha Thakurta

This topical and soaking up e-book, written by way of eminent reporters, explains why India has entered a brand new period of coalition politics. It analyses the implications and implications of this really fresh phenomenon. India has come far from the time because the Congress ruled the country's polity. The authors argue that the multi-party constitution of presidency, or a coalition govt, is neither transitority nor an aberration. Coalitions are right here to stick, a minimum of within the foreseeable destiny. The authors brush aside the view that India's polity is basically bipolar, that's, led by way of both of the 2 greatest political events - the Congress or the Bharatiya Janata get together. they don't accede to the rivalry that different political events haven't any choice yet to align themselves with both the Congress or the Bharatiya Janata occasion. carrying on with the research all started of their prior paintings, India in a Time of Coalitions: Divided we Stand (Sage, 2004) either authors skilfully piece jointly the complicated jigsaw of Indian politics. The authors aspect to the fragmentation of Indian polity with the increase of caste-based and nearby events and the formation of coalitions on the federal in addition to provincial degrees. This, they are saying, shouldn't be perceived as a detrimental characteristic yet as a good impact at the operating of the country's democratic constructions. The authors take the view that coalition governments are in truth larger outfitted to house the tensions of India's deeply divided and hugely hierarchical society. compared, governments ruled through unmarried events are likely to either centralize and homogenize. one of the concerns the ebook analyzes are " The effect of the April-May 2004 basic elections that observed the dramatic decline of the nationwide Democratic Alliance led through the BJP and its substitute by way of a central authority shaped by means of the United revolutionary Alliance coalition led through the Congress with open air aid from 4 left events " a steady revival within the fortunes of the Congress after the celebration had witnessed its conventional supporters - together with the minorities and the deprived teams - deserting it in huge numbers " The unexpected upward thrust and fall of the BJP from the time it was once nearly burnt up in 1984, the party's faction-ridden personality and its lack of ability to quick come to phrases with its electoral defeat in 2004 " The starting to be significance and the altering strategies of the left events, their inner alterations and mainstreaming and their impression at the country's financial rules " The an important query of no matter if coalitions provides sturdy governments and lower than what conditions " the opportunity of trade political formations - led neither by means of the Congress nor the BJP - coming to strength on the centre " the level to which political coalitions have resulted in larger governance, led to a better measure of federalism and decreased the prevalence of corruption " the way within which successive governments have dealt with the recent politics of monetary liberalization and globalization including the the most important factor of progress with fairness difficult many often held perspectives concerning India's political procedures, this interesting ebook will pride a person attracted to Indian politics at first of the twenty first century.

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Of these, 37 seats were gained in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh alone. The fact that both these states had completed polling by the third phase explains the huge gains made by the NDA in the initial phases of polling, rather than any so-called Kargil effect. It must be emphasised that the BJP–Shiv Sena (the BJP’s oldest ally in the NDA) alliance lost a substantial chunk of its vote share in Maharashtra, but gained seats thanks to the split in the Congress on the eve of elections. Similarly, in Andhra Pradesh, the BJP and the TDP put together could not improve on their vote share between 1998 and 1999, while the Congress did—but not enough to counteract the consolidation of votes on the other side.

The second trend that was arrested was the fall in the share of votes obtained by the Congress. The party’s vote share had gone up by nearly 3 per cent between 1998 and 1999 though it lost nearly 30 seats in the Lok Sabha thanks to the ‘first-past-the-post’ principle. The support of the Congress was evidently spread relatively thinly 54 DIVIDED WE STAND across the country whereas the BJP’s support base was concentrated in particular geographical regions, enabling the party to win more seats in the Lok Sabha even with a lower share of the popular vote.

If Kargil did indeed boost the prospects of the NDA, why did the alliance sweep Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi (winning all 21 seats in these states) while, at the same time, being very nearly wiped out in neighbouring Punjab (winning just 3 of the 13 seats in the state) which borders Pakistan? Why did the BJP and its allies win 36 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in Andhra Pradesh, but only 10 of the 28 seats in Karnataka, where they had won 16 seats in the previous Introduction 57 elections in 1998?

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