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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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Normalization of the ‘Post-Congress Polity’

(p.1) Introduction
Party Competition in Indian States

Suhas Palshikar

K.C. Suri

Yogendra Yadav

Oxford University Press

This book deals with the different aspects of electoral politics in Indian states during the period 2008-2012 and the nature of the relationship between between electoral politics in the states and at the all-India level. It reviews the changes in the system of party competition after the rise of a more stable bi-polar contest in Indian elections. While the first phase of the post-Congress polity during the 1990s saw the defeat of the incumbent parties in election after election, the next phase which this chapter examines is marked by a fair chance for the incumbent party to retain political power. The chapter shows that the dramatic features of the post-Congress polity, namely the participatory upsurge, political uncertainly and the emergence of new parties primarily on the basis of social identities, have been either subdued or have acquired a routine existence. Such a condition is described in this chapter as normalization of electoral competition.

Keywords:   post-Congress polity, normalization, electoral volatility, anti-incumbency, effective number of parties, relevant parties, convergence, social cleavages, issue space, electoral cycle

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