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Is the Politics of Coalitions over?

In Indian democracy the politics of government formation revolve around the fact of number of MPs that has been able to win the elections for a respective political party. Thus government formation in our democracy has become a game of numbers. In a total tally of 543 seats in the Lok Sabha crossing the half-way mark is the indespensible number which every political party aspires to cross whereby it can form a stable one party Government. Thus out of 543 seats in the Lower House i.e., Lok Sabha the magical number in this game of numbers is 272+ for Government formation.

From India's independence till after the imposition of emergency in the country by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Indian politics saw the undisputed one-party dominance of the Indian National Congress. However 1977 saw the first non-Congress Government in the country in the form of Moraji Desai led Janata Party Government. This was the first 4-party coalition Government in India. Since then it has been a hide and seek game of coalition Governments with the exception of Indira Gandhi Government of 1981-1984 and Rajiv Gandhi Government of 1984-1989.Since 1989 to 2014 it has all been a multi-party Government in the form of Coalition Governments.

In 2014, the country saw the emergence of Modi Magic thereby gaining a total of 282 seats alone for the BJP as a result crossing the magical number of 272+. Moreover the pre-poll NDA alliance has won a total of 335 seats. It is in this light we need to answer the question whether politics of coalition is over or is politics of coalition has become redundant with the BJP alone crossing the magical number of 272+ in the 16th Lok Sabha.

Here one point will make it clear that after a huge success of BJP by winning 282 seats alone in the Lok Sabha and 335 seats for the NDA after riding over the Modi magic the BJP party has not broken the pre-poll alliance of the like minded parties. Rather it has included in the ministry MP's as ministers from the alliance partners. This situation proves the fact, firstly that Mr. Modi has kept his cards wide open for the future for the BJP to keep its alliance open. I think,Mr. Narendra Modi inspite of his wave feels it safe to keep its alliance wide open inspite of winning 272+ seats alone for the BJP in the Lok Sabha

The post-poll scenario of the 16th Lok Sabha speaks loudly that for the BJP in particular and most of the political parties in general, the politics of coalition is here to stay. The BJP may have the numbers in the present Lok Sabha to form a one party Government in the country but they certainly do not have the guts to tinker with the coalition Dharma for the future. Thus the present post-poll scenario of the 16th Lok Sabha proves that politics of coalition is here to stay, and stay for the future in the uncertain game of politics in Indian Democracy.

Another point for the emergence and growth of coalition politics is the increasing dominance of Regional Parties in India.Regional Parties are in their hey days in states like Odisha where Mr. Naveen Patnaik is in power for the fourth consecutive terms with each time in Lok Sabha the BJD of Mr. Patnaik increasing its numbers. Moreover states like Tamil Nadu where it has been a showdown of Government formation for AIADMK and DMK, both regional parties since last few decades with national parties failing to make a mark in the state.

With new incumbent Government of Regional Parties like T.M.C. of West Bengal,T.D.P. of Andhra Pradesh and T.R.S. of Telangana and splinter party like S.D.F of Sikkim it proves that regional parties are here to stay. Hence on the one hand there has been a wave of BJP and there at the same time a weaning of the I.N.C. and the rise of new regional forces in various parts of the country. All this proves the fact that although Modiji led BJP has been able to cross the 272+ alone in the recently concluded elections yet history may repeat itself in the national scenario of Government formation in the Lok Sabha in the future where the electorate in this choice of various emerging regional parties on the one hand and the emerging BJP on the other may give a fractured mandate in the days to come. All this, I think gives an answer to the question "Is the Politics of Coalitions over?" in our country in the negative and thereby proving that the politics of coalitions is here to stay for the future.

-Jnandeep Bora