chapter  1
BySanjay Lodha, Suhas Palshikar, Sanjay Kumar
Pages 12

The spectacular triumph of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the 16th Lok Sabha elections in 2014 gives us an opportunity to revisit the thesis of 'normalization of the system of political competition' in India. After the uncertain and unstable nature of coalition politics from 1989 to 1999, political competition in India gained a degree of stability from 1999. What makes the mandate of 2014 Lok Sabha elections unusual as compared to previous elections is the remarkable outcome in states like Bihar, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, which together account for more than 30 per cent of the total seats in the Lok Sabha. There can never be a single-factor explanation of the mandate. A multiplicity of variables worked in tandem to unleash the final outcome. One cannot deny a strong anti-incumbency sentiment prevailing among the people against the poor performance of the United Progressive Alliance II government. The chapter also presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book.