Coalitions are becoming increasingly 'stable' and have generated wider acceptability at the union and state levels in India. Previously termed as 'unthinkable' and impractical, this new government structure has become an acknowledged norm backed by the popular will of the people. This formation is not only reflective of popular mandate, but underlines the widening democratic space in the country. The series of coalition governments with the successful completion of NDA-I and UPA-I & II inculcated a belief that the 'idea of coalition' is workable. The grand amalgamation of political voices and forces has also led to new political aspirations and assertions and, hence, radically transforms 'political space' and reshapes the political bargaining. This book substantially discusses the emergence and working of this phenomenon in theoretical and analytical framework.
Jammu and Kashmir happens to have a unique experience of coalitions. It witnessed the coalition formation through an Accord in mid-1980's wherein two hitherto hostile political parties, the National Conference and Indian National Congress, shared the power. Being a first of its kind, it opened the possibilities of power-sharing among the ideologically distinct parties. It fell sooner with deep political ramifications, and, of course, threw lessons for such arrangements in future. Since the state has seen four coalition Governments until 2014, it is rich in coalition functioning. What keeps this system going? How does it work and survive challenges? What does it achieve amidst challenges? The book offers insights to understand these puzzling questions.