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India at the Polls: Parliamentary Elections in the Federal Phase

Rekha Saxena (Author) M.P. Singh (Author)
Synopsis India has generally been credited with maintaining the constitutional regime established since independence. In this successful political experiment, the procedural values of democracy, free and fair elections, judicial integrity and activism and paradigm-shifts in politics and the economy with a reasonable degree of consensus, stand out as major areas of relative achievements. Elections have become particularly more frequent since 1989. There have been four Lok Sabha elections, three in rather quick succession. This is because of the transformation of the party system from one of Congress dominance to a multi-partisan system configuration reflecting the instability of minority and/or coalition governments and hung parliaments. Elections in this phase have been both the cause and consequence of a paradigm-shift in Indian politics from a predominantly parliamentary tenor of politics to a more federalised regime within the overall parameters of what Ronald Watts has characterised as ‘parliamentary federal systems’. Since 1989, a certain measure of proportionality of representation is evident under the plurality or first-past-the-post electoral system because of the increased social fragmentation along ethnic, regional and class lines. This has enormously increased the political influence of regional parties in the system. In such a political matrix, coalition governments would appear to be an expected outcome. And unless coalitional governance becomes subject to certain consensual rules with a stable pursuit of purposive governance, elections would continue to be more frequent than desirable. This book takes a close look at the last three Lok Sabha elections—those of 1996, 1998 and 1999.
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About the authors

Rekha Saxena

Rekha Saxena teaches Political Science in Janaki Devi Memorial College, University of Delhi. She was awarded Shastri-Indo Canadian Institute's Doctoral (1999-2000) and Faculty Research Fellowship (2003) to visit Canada where she was affiliated with the Department of Political Studies and Institute of Intergovernmental Relations at the Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.

M.P. Singh

M.P. Singh is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Delhi and specializes in Indian and Canadian politics and Philosophy of Science. He was the Head of the Department of Political Science and the Dean of the Faculty of Social Science at the University, and a Director of the Indian Council of social Science Research. He has authored, edited, and co-edited several books on Indian politics and contributed scholarly papers in professional journals in India and North America.

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Bibliographic information

Title India at the Polls: Parliamentary Elections in the Federal Phase
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2003
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8125023283
length xx+324p., Tables.