From Congress to Coalition:
Understanding the Politics in India

by
Parmatma Saran

[February 28, 2003]
 

 

Since independence congress party has ruled India, first under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru then his daughter Indira Gandhi. In 1977 for the first time all opposition parties in India came together which resulted into congress party’s crushing defeat and formation of a non-congress government at the center led by Janta Party. This can be seen as an end of congress party’s monopoly in Indian politics and emergence of a new culture in Indian heavily relying on alliances between different groups to form government. Since March 1998 NDA (National Democratic Alliance) has been in power, BJP (Bhartiya Janta Party) has formed this alliance which is led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee. This presentation will shed some light on politics of coalition in India.

Record of Parties in Power since Independence

1. Jawaharlal Nehru
Aug. 15, 1947 – May 27, 1964 Congress (17 years)

2. Gulzari Lal Nanda
May 27, 1964 – June 9, 1964 Congress (1 months)

3. Lal Bahadur Shastri
June 9, 1964 – Jan. 11, 1966 Congress (8 months)

4. Gulzari Lal Nanda
Jan. 11, 1966 – Jan. 24, 1966 Congress (12 days)

5. Indira Gandhi
Jan. 24, 1966 – March 24, 1977 Congress (16 years)

6. Moraji Desai
March 24, 1977 – July 28, 1979 Janta Party (2 years)

7. Charan Singh
July 28, 1979 – Jan. 14, 1980 Lok Dal (6 months)

8. Indira Gandhi
Jan. 14, 1980 – Oct. 31, 1984 Congress (4 months)

9. Rajiv Gandhi
Oct. 31, 1984 – Dec. 1, 1989 Congress (5 months)

10. VP Singh
Dec. 2, 1989 – Nov. 7, 1990 Janta Party (1 year)

11. Chandrashekhar
Nov. 10, 1990 – March 6, 1991 Janta Party (5 months)

12. PV Narasimha Rao
Jan. 21, 1991 – May 16, 1996 Congress (5 years)

13. Atal Bihari Vajpayee
May 16, 1996 – July 1, 1996 B.J.P. (3 months)

14. HD Deve Gowda
July 1, 1996 – April 21, 1997 Janta Party (10 months)

15. Inder Kumar Gujral
April 21, 1997 – March 19, 1998 Janta Party (1 year)

16. Atal Bihari Vajpayee
March 19, 1998 – Oct. 13, 1999 NDA – BJP (1 years)

17. Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Oct. 13, 1999 – present NDA – BJP (4 years)

Congress - 50 years approximately
Other - 10 years approximately

 

 

 


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