Dynamics of Coalition Politics in India

Asima Sahu


Coalition governments are perhaps an inevitable occurrence in a multi-cultural and federal polity like India. During the last two decades or so, the Indian party system has undergone a paradigm shift. The era of politics as a grand narrative dominated by a single party seems to be a thing of the past. The 14th General Election in 2004 corroborated  this trend that initially appeared on the Indian political landscape in 1989. The existence of multiple forms and layers of identity in India pertaining to caste, community, region-language etc. signifies the complex social base of politics. Coalition is probably the best political arrangement in which both the values of unity and diversity are equally legitimized and respected and linked within the political layout of the country.


Coalition, multi-party system, fragmentation, stability

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E. Sridharan, ‘Electoral Coalitions in 2004 General Elections: Theory and Practice’, Economic and Political Weekly, 18 December 2004, pp.5418-19

Sukadeb Nanda. Coalitional Politics in Orissa, (Sterling Publishers, New Delhi, 1979), p12

Ibid, p.13

Naresh Chandra Sahni, “Theory of Coalition” in N.C. sahni (ed.), ‘Coalition Politics in India’. (New Academic Publishing Company : Jullunder, 1971), p.20

Vernon Bogadnor (ed.) ‘Coalition Government in Western Europe’ (London, 183) p.1

Michal Lever and Norman Schofield, ‘Multi party Government The Politics of Coalition in Europe’ (OUP: New York, 1990.) p. 202


Bidyut Chakrabarty, ‘Coalition Politics in India’, (Oxford University Press: New Delhi,2014),p.169

Kumar Suresh, “Identity Articulation and Emerging Formation in India” in Akhtar Majeed (ed), ‘Coalition Politics and power sharing’ (Manak : New Delhi,2000) p. 37

E. Sreedharan, ‘Principles, Power and Coalition Politics in India: Lessons from Theory, Comparison and Recent History’ in D.D. Khanna (ed.), Principles, Power and Politics (Macmillan: New Delhi, 1999), pp. 275-77.


N. Jose Chander, ‘Coalition Politics: The Indian Experience’ (Concept: New Delhi, 2004), pp 120-121.


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