Unit-19 Party System and Elections in India

Unit-19 Party System and Elections in India - UNIT 19...

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UNIT 19 NATURE OF PARTY SYSTEM IN INDIA Structure 19.0 Objectives 19.2 Nature of Party System-First Two Decades After Independence - .. . 19.2.1 Evoluti6n froni Political Centre 19.2.2 Dominant Party System: Basic Characteristics 19.2.3 Centrality of Congress 19.3 Changed Socio-Economic Profile: Dislocation of Political Centre 19.4 Party Systems After 1967 19.5 Loss of Centrality of Congress and Emerging Party System 19.6 Conteniporary Party System 19.6.1 Party System at the Central Level 19.6.2 Party System at the State Level 19.7 Let Us Sum Up 19.8 Some Usefill Books and Articles 19.9 Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises 19.0 OBJECTIVES This unit deals with the nature of the party system in India. It aims at familiarising the student of Indian politics with tlie fundamental features underlying the evolution of the party system in the post-independence period. After studying this unit, you should be able to: Understand the nature of the party system in India and identify its various characteristics; Analyse the changing nature of tlie party system and explain the emerging patterns; and Discuss the socio-economic and the political factors underlying the changing nature of party politics. 19.1 INTRODUCTION Indian party system is unique. It does not fit in any kind of classification that is generally used to categorise the party systems. Tt is defined by the singular nature of Indian politics on tlie one hand and the nature of the state-society relationship on the other. In the last two decades, there has been a substantial change both in the nature of politics as well as in nature of relationship between the state and the society. One of tlie very important manifestations of change is visible in the context of the politicisation of greater ~ii~~nber of people, especially those belonging to the less privileged sections of society. That explains the change in the nature of the party system as well. The distinctive features that defined the party system of India in the fist two decades after independence are no more to be seen at present. In order to understand tlie present nature of the party system, it is important to trace its I~istory and to refer to its political logic in the context of the changing state-society relationship.
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Party System and Elccfions in India 19.2 NATURE OF PARTY SYSTEM - FIRST TWO DECADES AFTER INDEPENDENCE 19.2.1 Evolution from Political Centre Rajni Kotliari has argued in his 'Politics in India' that the party system evolved from an identifiable political centre. This political centre, carved during the nationalist movement, was comprised of the political elite sharing common socio-economic back- ground i.e. educated, urban, upper-caste people belonging mainly to middle and upper classes. The common social background of the elite resulted in the homogeneity that became a defining feature of tlie political centre as well as of tlie party system. The ruling party and the opposition, both coniing fro111 tlie same social background, shared the social perceptions and converged on many issues. A consensus, therefore, existed within the system around the basic values.
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Unit-19 Party System and Elections in India - UNIT 19...

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