ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Electoral Politics and the State of India’s Democracy

The 2019 Parliamentary Elections in India: Democracy at the Crossroads? edited by Subrata K Mitra, Rekha Saxena and Pampa Mukherjee, Routledge, 2022; pp XXX-354, `1,595 (hardback).

The Political Economy of India’s New Middle Class

Beyond Consumption: India’s New Middle Class in the Neo-Liberal Times edited by Manish K Jha and Pushpendra, London: Routledge, 2022; pp xviii + 205, `995.

An Outlier in the North

The most significant development of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Punjab was the victory of the Congress, making the state an outlier in almost all of India, except for Kerala. Neither the Bharatiya Janata Party’s narrative of national security nor its strong leader could find much traction in the state. The significant loss of the core social constituency’s (read the Sikhs) support of the Shiromani Akali Dal and the decline or almost decimation of the Aam Aadmi Party were important developments of this election.

Exploring the Demand for New States

The increasing demand for new states raises a number of questions with regard to the well-being of India's federal democratic polity. There are four measures that must be considered while devising any framework to address the issue of federal reorganisation. These are: the constitution of a permanent State Reorganisation Commission, amendment of the Constitution to ensure that the demand for a new state emanates from the state legislature and not at the centre, examination of economic and social viability rather than political considerations and clear-cut safeguards to encourage democratic concerns like development and governance rather than religion, caste and language as valid grounds for a new state.

Assembly Elections 2009 in Haryana: Exploring the Verdict

The unique nature of Haryana state politics as compared to elsewhere in north India helps put into perspective the election results of late in the state. This article analyses the results of the October 2009 assembly elections, in particular.

Punjab: Resurgence of the Congress

The Congress improved significantly on its electoral performance in Punjab as compared to the previous Lok Sabha elections. The slender lead in terms of votes polled enabled the Congress to march ahead of the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party combine in terms of the number of seats won. The inability of the Bahujan Samaj Party to mobilise the dalit vote also helped the Congress which has had a relatively good support base amongst the dalits in different religions. The Congress also benefited from the gradual slide of the left parties, its erstwhile electoral allies.

Rethinking State Politics in India: Regions within Regions

From a dominant national perspective, political analysis in India has gradually shifted its unit of study to the state level. There remains a dearth of literature that employs intra-state or inter-state regional perspectives in a comparative political analysis framework.

Dissonance between Economic Reforms and Democracy

The story of recent electoral democracy in India is one of a paradox. Most political parties affirm the necessity of economic reforms. Yet, this affirmation belies support for the same among large sections of the populace, particularly the poor. Even more paradoxical is the fact that political parties, despite their emphasis on policies related to the economy in their respective manifestos, tend to rely on identity issues for mobilisation. This article tries to explain the reasons for this puzzle.

Punjab Elections

The Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance won the recent assembly elections in Punjab because the Congress government failed to deliver and the party was plagued with infighting. More than anything, Punjab needs a government that will address the crisis in the agrarian economy and attract industrial investment.

Nigeria: Political Economy of Oil

Economy of Oil ASHUTOSH KUMAR in the form of the ethnic divide between the This small note is a modest attempt to add to what Rajen Harshe has argued about the ethnic, linguistic, regional, religious and cultural differences now threatening the integrity of Nigeria (

Punjab : In Search of New Leadership

In Punjab, religion, caste, region, language and leadership factors combine differently in different elections to produce contrasting electoral outcomes. Over the last three decades, a virtually bipolar party system has come to stay in the state, where power has alternated between the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Congress. Looking at the mixed feelings of the Hindus and the Sikhs towards each other, the durability of the alliance between the SAD and the BJP surprises any observer of Punjab politics. The long-standing anti-Congress tradition of SAD, and the complementary electoral bases of the two parties could be the factors behind the sustenance of the alliance. The attempts of the Bahujan Samaj Party to carve out an independent space in Punjab politics have not paid dividends so far. This time, the coming together of Akali factions and the factional disunity in the Congress, coupled with adverse perceptions of the people about the performance of the ruling party seem to have determined the outcome in Punjab.


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