History of Coalition Politics
India first got the essence of coalition politics in West Bengal under the rule of former chief minister Jyoti Basu where the government formed after alliance with Communist Part of India (CPI), CPI( Marxist) and others. The centre at the National level first tested coalition government under the leadership of Morraji Desai in 1977. Since then the journey of Coalition Politics started both at the centre as well as state levels.
Causes of Coalition Politics
Reasons of Coalition Politics Weakening of big national parties, emergence of regional parties after the breaking of smaller one, lopsided development at the grass root level, the inability to represent India’s diversity, etc. are some of the causes for coalition government in India.
Coalition Governments Tenures
Sh. Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Government in 1996 remained only for 13 days. HD Deve Gowda’s was in office from June 1 1996 to April 21, 1997. Short coalition regime was also seen with Sh. Inder Kumar Gujral as Prime Minister in 1997. National Democratic Alliance headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee last only for 13 months at the end of 1998. In 1999, NDA won the election with majority and completed its five years term. In 2004, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) completed its five years term and UPA-2nd is also continued since 2009.
Merits of Coalition Government
- Coalition governments try to address the regional disparity.
- Public opinion is wider thereby greater role in decision making.
- Decisions are made considering the majority of the people.
- Having principles of politics of consensus.
- Effective representation of electorate wishes.
- Policies are made after lots of brainstorming.
- More federalism is there.
Problems of Coalition
- Different coalition partners have different manifestos, which hamper the policy
- Ideological differences are there.
- Smaller parties try to capture more power without considering the rhythm of nation development.
- There is an ambiguity in transparency.
- Coalition government is unstable in nature.
- Parties try to get better portfolios for their candidates without considering qualification, character and criminal records, etc.
- Spectrum of ministers becomes wide which put pressure on government exchequer.
Future of Coalition
In Indian politics, the coalition governments are rooted both at the centre as well as states levels. This is basically due to emergence of regional parties and imbalance development at the regional, district and grass root levels.