ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Botched-up Development and Electoral Politics in India

The debates about the general election campaign in India have often pitted "development" against secularism. In the process, questions about the emergence of alternative political formations have been pushed to the sidelines. This article argues that a development versus secular polarisation of national debates reflects a gross simplification of the politics of development in independent India. Through an examination of the historical antecedents of the contemporary dominance of the political right in Gujarat and by drawing on recent research, this article makes two interrelated arguments. First, it shows that the success of the right is inextricably linked to the botched-up development priorities of the past several decades. Second, it points to the inadequacy of the pro-poor policies and programmes promoted by the left-of-the-centre political coalitions.

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