Electoral Politics and General Elections in India (1952-1998)
Following the fractured mandate of the 12th General Elections in India in March 1998 the BJP-led government replaced the 13-party coalition of the United Front. But the first 100 days of the Government, which has been in the office on the basis of pre-poll and post-poll alliances, have brought to focus tricky problems it has in the offing. The challenges seem to be tougher than those encountered by the United Front team as it struggled through its 18-month of existence. What have been the major factors which have catapulted the nation to such a situation? This forms the subject matter of this book. It studies the subject in all its ramifications in the backdrop of all the preceding general elections which took place in India ever since it became Republic. The entire book is divided into six sections. Section I brings to focus the situation leading to the dissolution of 11th Lok Sabha just within 18 months of the last general elections. In separate chapters in this section the growth and effect of regional parties as well as the role of Election Commission has been examined. 32 chapters in Section II provide a glimpse of the electoral scene in all states and union 1territories. Section III surveys the programmes, activities, strategies and performance of 7 national and 169 State parties participated in the 12th General Elections. Section IV explains the background and circumstances leading to the politicisation of Women, Muslim and Dalit voters, the situation leading to the projection of Nehru-Gandhi family, and the use of the innovative means of campaigning. Section V deals with author’s assessment of the 1998 verdict, the functioning of democracy in India and 100 days’ experience of the new government. Section VI contains Appendices which includes information of great reference value. All this makes it a useful source book for understanding the modern-day politics in India. This should also serve as a valuable reference book for all political parties and persons engaged in electoral study.
M.L. Ahuja is Postgraduate in English Literature and holds two Postgraduate Dimplmas in Labour Law, Labour Welfare & Personnel Management, as well as in Company Secretary. He is a co-author of 1989-1991 General Elections of India, and author of Glimpses of Great Indians as well as the Presidents of India and Their Constitutional Portrayal. He has contributed articles to a number of journals on various subjects and has reviewed books of general interest. He has also presented papers at seminars in India, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea, China and Hungary. His article “Vox Populi” is included in a book entitled Perestroika in India: V.P. Singh’s Prime Ministership, compiled and edited by G.S. Bhargava. He had also been the Area Representative of the International Association of Orientalist Librarians. He is associated with publishing and marketing of books and journals since 1959. He has travelled extensively, both within and outside the country.
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