chapter  2
27 Pages

Majority parliaments, majority governments: Party politics before 1989

Introduction The purpose of this chapter is to describe the major events and developments during the long majoritarian period in India’s party system as a background and precursor to the changes that started with the 1989 polls. The majoritarian period in the national party system lasted from the first election, in 1952, up to the ninth, in 1989. Each one of these eight parliamentary polls produced a majority winner and seven times it was the same political party, the Indian National Congress. At the subnational level, the dominant position of the party was weakened in 1967 in several key states of the county, however, it was not until 1977 that Congress would cede national power to another political party, and even then only for a very brief period of time. In the parliamentary elections of 1980, the Congress was able to have its dominance restored for almost another decade until 1989.