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Party Competition in Indian StatesElectoral Politics in Post-Congress Polity$
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Suhas Palshikar, K C Suri, and Yogendra Yadav

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198099178

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198099178.001.0001

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Meghalaya’s Fluid Party Alignments

Meghalaya’s Fluid Party Alignments

(p.347) 16 Meghalaya’s Fluid Party Alignments
Party Competition in Indian States

R.K. Satapathy

Oxford University Press

This chapter attempts to explain the electoral politics of Meghalaya during the last ten years. Meghalaya is one of the few states in India where coalition and instability have been the norms since its inception. The average life-span of a government is less than two years. The chapter also explains how the party system is different in the North-East from many other states of India. In the absence of any strong regional party due to ethnic division, the all-India parties, often the Congress, manage to win parliamentary seats. However, state-level parties in the North-East fail to construct the identity of the entire state and instead get caught up in sub-regional, ethnic and/or linguistic divisions which limit their appeal. This distinction between state parties and ethnic parties may be crucial in appreciating the dilemma faced by parties in these smaller states. Meghalaya may be one instance of this paradoxical nature of regionalist politics.

Keywords:   electoral politics, Meghalaya, instability, tribes, ethnicity, Khasi, Jaintia, Garo, regional parties, ethnic division

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