India's 2009 Elections is an inquiry into the 15th General Elections of India. It explores how the elections played out, what factors influenced the electorate, and how the elections are an important contribution to India's democracy.
Authored by renowned scholars and analysts from various backgrounds, the collection of articles critically examines multiple areas of the Indian polity:
Coalition and alliance politics, representation, national integration, and women's participation; Dominant party, competitive two-party and multi-party states including Gujarat, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, and the northeast states; Caste, tribal, and ethnic politics
According to the contributors, the public outcome of the 2009 elections indicated a demand for integrity, continuity, and competence—values that were considered almost obsolete in today's political scenario. At the same time, the contributors admit to problems in structure, providing for minority cultures, stability, and contentious public policy issues.
Chapter 1: Introduction: Political Stability and Governance Coherence
Introduction: Political Stability and Governance Coherence
India's electorate emphasized political stability and governance coherence in the 15th national elections in 2009. Predictions of a fragmented electorate and party system emboldened small groups to envision obtaining power in third and fourth fronts emphasizing regional, caste, ideological, and personality considerations. Instead, the Congress Party gambled successfully on a minimum rather than a maximum winning coalition.1 The Congress initially allied with a few partners in its minimal winning coalition, so as to highlight the Congress Party rather than the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coalition label. This successful strategic gamble provided more coherence, clearer messages, and a revitalizing leadership. Lacking only 10 seats for a majority, the UPA coalition quickly attracted other parties for ...