Coalition politics is another notable feature of the Indian party system, which affects both the centre and the state. The decline of Congress Party has not led to emergence of an alternative national party that could occupy the central space. Even the rising BJP could not able to attain the majority on its own. In other words, failure of Congress and the BJP to get majority seat in Parliament has brought numerous similar parties to the centre stage of Indian politics. The large parities have been depending upon these smaller parties for the formation of governments. Instead f single party majority governments, we have been having minority coalitions. In 1991, the minority government of congre3ss was installed which attained majority subsequently. The 1996 parliament elections led to formation of a minority coalition of thirteen parties of the United Front supported by Congress and the Left Front. This coalition was replaced in by another coalition government of the National Democratic Alliance (MDA) with BJP as largest member of the coalition. The Fourteenth Lok Sabha Election 2004 and fifteenth Lok Sabha Election 2009 has produced another coalition government named as United Progressive Alliance (UPA) with Congress as the largest member of the coalition.
The most crucial problem that Indian Democracy faces today is the political instability at central level as well as at the state level. The instability mounted as no single party getting a clear majority in forming the government due to the fractured political opinion of the electorate and swindling of multiparty system. This volume discusses how the coalition politics has become as essential feature of present day Indian democracy and successfully delineates that in present state of affairs there could be little escape from an era of coalition governments. Theorizing politics of coalition in a polity of India’s size, diversity, and complexity is a daunting task. Yet, in this volume, an attempted has been made to make theoretical sense of Indian politics, especially since the 1990s.