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

Constraints on Electoral Mobilisation

Election 2004 revealed no clear mandates because no political formation currently has the capacity to break the 'logjam of electoral strategy'. In other words, while political parties may appeal on the basis of caste mobilisation or an 'anxious' nationalism, such ideological appeals are necessarily limited by their appeal only to sections of the populace. On the other hand, parties are also unable to move beyond the governance agenda or a general politics of redistribution as the state's ability to sustain populism is also limited. Thus, in place of any viable form of electoral mobilisation, parties fight elections via the formation of contingent coalitions. As this article argues, such a politics, while limited, has also strengthened Indian democracy. It has allowed diverse constituencies to share power and also produced political volatility without a corresponding ideological or policy volatility.

Subscribers please login to access full text of the article.

New 3 Month Subscription
to Digital Archives at

826for India

$50for overseas users

Get instant access to the complete EPW archives

Subscribe now


(-) Hide

EPW looks forward to your comments. Please note that comments are moderated as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear. A comment, if suitable, may be selected for publication in the Letters pages of EPW.

Back to Top