Coalition Government




Coalition Government


          Indians have been used to one party rule under the Congress party for about 50 years. To make the matters worse Indian mind has ever been fascinated by the dynastic rule of Nehru dynasty. The public came to look upon his single party Government the most suitable to the country during the formative years. But on the negative side it delayed the emergence of a strong multiparty democracy under parliamentary form of govt. It is also true that freedom struggle was waged under the leadership of Congress party by leaders of various ideologies and ideas. The coalition Governments at the center during 1977-79 and 1989-90 did not prove successful. So naturally there was aversion of the general public towards coalition rule at the center. The facts of history can not be overlooked that India right from the beginning has suffered because of lack of strong central authority.
          The 1996 general elections will go down in the history of modern India as the most significant one. There was a dramatic change in the political system of the country. In fact the 1999 general elections further cemented the idea of coalition government.
          Those who are in favour of coalition govt, believe that hung legislatures at the center and in some of the states have lately become common. The trend was confirmed by the November 1993 elections in five states, with no party being in a position to form a stable ministry. The independent and the representatives of the smaller groups joined to form a government. Since this trend is likely to continue in the years to come, coalition Governments are the best way to avoid the formation of shaky governments.
          Political stability at the center is essential for bringing about smooth economic development. The regional parties joining a coalition govt at the center gives the states and various groups a sense of nationalism. Some times large parties prefer to support the minority party from outside. It is not a healthy trend. In the absence of a clear majority, firm decisions are not possible. Every time a compromise has to be worked out. Much of the time of the Prime Minister has to be spent in efforts to maintain its position.




          Even if our experience with the coalition govt, has not been happy one, under parliamentary form of govt, we have to accept the arrival of coalition era with an open mind. It is a pity that inspite of 55 years of independence we have not been able to build up healthy two party political system. Dynastic rule of the congress has proved harmful in this direction. As things stand today the political situation is highly fragile. The present coalition govt, at the center comprises about 24 parties. We know that each and every partner of the govt, at the center is serving its own ends. It is important to note that coalition govt, lacks accountability and any commitment to the voters. It is in the nature of marriage of convenience to grab power. Political morality is over looked. In a hurry to take advantage of the situation small groups and independent members indulge in unethical practices. Inspite of common agenda the regional parties think and act in their own interest.
          As a matter of fact Indian polity is complex. The coalition govts, are vulnerable to blackmailing at the state level. There are countless instances where the regional parties have extracted extra advantage from the center. One can not expect that under such political formation any govt, lacking majority can deliver goods. Yet the arrival of coalition era is a certainty. It can not be wished away. We must learn to live with this system. There are coalition govts, in many of the European countries. But the political parties in those countries stick to their ideologies. In India when Ajit Singh is asked to resign, BJP becomes a religious party. Once his arch enemies Sonia and Mulyam are now his friends. They do not mind as long as they are given the creamy layer of the cake called power. How ridiculous our leaders appear! Unprincipled politics is the virus that has come to infect Indian polity. Therefore, the concept of coalition governĀ¬ments is yet to achieve maturity.