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

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The Elusive Mandate of 2004

Six months after results were declared, the outcome of the 14th general elections still remains a puzzle, presenting many-sided issues that continue to be much debated. The set of papers in this collection attempts to unearth a clearer meaning behind the mandate of elections 2004 from the questions that each pose. Why did these polls not yield a decisive verdict and a simple mandate like elections of the 1970s and 1980s? Moreover, given that the range of possible outcomes was so narrow and the choices before voters limited, why was the NDA unable to hold on to power and why was the final result such a clear verdict against it? A question of more short-term interest to political actors and election strategists is why did such an unpopular government led by the most popular leader of the moment lose the elections. The papers in this collection use the immense body of data generated by the NES 2004 to make an informed intervention in this contested terrain.

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