Political parties play a vital role in the Indian political life besides their many faceted impacts on the entire national life. In the largest functioning democracy of the world, their attainments are viewed with admiration in the world. Their role in governance, political mobilization, formulation and execution of national and state policies, strategies of socioeconomic development and resolution of numerous conflicts has been a source of commendable case studies and valuable lessons for the teachers of political science in India and rest of the emerging democracies.
Dr. Awasthi’s overriding focus in this book is to examine the last decade of the 20th century, which is a significant phase of the Indian democracy. This decade witnessed the end of the era of one party dominance in 1977 and also the onset of a new era of fractured mandates, uninhibited alliances and coalition governments of various sorts at the national level. The regional/state parties were pivotal to the formation of governments. During nineties, our country witnessed four general elections with one minority and four coalition governments at the Union level. Prime Minister Narasimha Rao was head of a minority government in 1991. The BJP led government, United Front government under the leadership of Shri H.D. Devegowda and Shri I. K. Gujral during post 1996 years and NDA government of 1999 – all four were coalition governments with regional parties riding on their back.