This topical and absorbing book, written by two eminent journalists, explains why India has entered a new era of coalition politics and analyses the consequences and implications of this relatively recent phenomenon. Transition from single party domination to multi-party configurations or coalitions, the authors argue, is neither temporary nor an aberration. Dismissing the notion of bi-polarity, and resting the debate on whether coalition governments are here to stay, the authors debate on whether coalitions are at best a necessary evil or are better than single-party governments.
Among other issues the authors dwell upon are:
- The quagmire of coalition politics and the fate of the leading political playersa gradual revival in the fortunes of the Congress and the `honeymoon` with the Left coming under cloud, the power struggle within the BJP, `social engineering` and victory of the BSP in Uttar Pradesh.
- The rise of the new dominant Left, the internal differences and the influence on the country`s economic policies.
- Political coalitions leading to better governance and greater federalism and reduced incidence of corruption.
- The new politics of economic liberalisation and globalisation, together with the crucial issue of growth with equity.
- The crucial question of whether coalitions can provide stable governments and under what circumstances.
Challenging many widely held views on the Indian political process, this book is a must read for anyone interested in contemporary Indian politics at the beginning of the 21st century.