Stable Two-party Competition
In the post-1990 phase electoral politics in the state of Rajasthan has been marked by routine oscillation of power between the two principal contenders: Indian National Congress (INC) and the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). Both the major political players have over the years sought to consolidate their core social support base while making sustained efforts to penetrate each others’ fortresses. Thus, the INC depends more and more on Dalits, Adivasis and Muslims and conversely the BJP draws most of its support from Brahmins, Rajputs and the Vaishyas. The outcome of electoral contests is determined by the extent of retention and also how much support both parties can generate among the Other Backward Castes (OBC). In the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, three factors contributed to Congress party’s emphatic triumph in Rajasthan: performance of the UPA government under Manmohan Singh, serious infighting and factionalism in the BJP and a small shift in the social base of the Congress.
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