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

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Persistent Fiscal Deficits and Political Economy Transitions in India

The Indian economy has been suffering from a persistent fiscal deficit for the last four decades. With the transition to coalition politics in the 1980s, the country’s political economy characteristics have significantly affected its fiscal policies and outcomes, but this has received scant attention in the literature. The impact of macroeconomic and political economy factors on India’s fiscal deficit between 1978–79 and 2016–17—a period when the country witnessed simultaneous economic and political structural transformations—has been investigated in this study. It finds evidence of a close link between electoral cycles and fiscal populism and between government fragmentation and fiscal profligacy. Additionally, it finds that a strong opposition does not necessarily mitigate the fiscal populism of incumbent governments.

Uttar Pradesh Elections 2017

This article examines the electoral alliance between the Samajwadi Party and the Congress in the recently held Uttar Pradesh assembly elections in the context of India’s complex polity at the national and state levels.

Chamber of Imitative Horrors

At the end of it all, when we muse over the debate on the no-confidence motion - both inside and outside parliament - we are left in a chamber of mirrors. All that the Congress can do is to compete with the BJP in a race where the Sangh parivar sets the rules. Since the parivar has made leadership an issue, the Congress has to project Sonia Gandhi to counter Vajpayee. Since the parivar lays down the terms of discourse, the Congress has to debate over trivial issues which have been made explosive by the parivar, like Ram Janmabhoomi and cow worship.

Breaking the Deadlock: Land Reform Revisited

The regions with continuing peasant insurgencies led by various shades of Maoists are those with continuing land reform questions - Andhra Pradesh and Bihar in India, Nepal, the Philippines, for instance. While there may not be an overall coalition in favour of compulsory land redistribution, particularly given the continuing, though diminishing, role of rural landlords as controlling vote banks in an election system, there is nonetheless a substantial opinion that something needs to be done about the inequities of existing landownership in these regions. Is it possible to work out a land reform programme in this political climate? This note looks at some of the issues involved and suggests a possible way to break the deadlock.

Of Rallies and Reluctant Allies

The gravest danger to the country's polity todate has been drowned in legalities and rhetorical cleverness. This is what happens when the defence of the secular polity is not understood primarily as a function of people's movements and struggles.

Social Federalism and Coalition Politics

Coalition Politics and Power Sharing edited by Akhtar Majeed; Manak Publications in association with Centre for Federal Studies, New Delhi, 2000;pp 198, Rs 400.

NDA: Electoral Performance and Future Strategies

The BJP finds itself in a serious bind as the UP elections approach. Should it take up the temple issue, as advocated by certain hardcore elements, it might risk losing the support of key allies at the centre. On the other hand, for the BJP to win the elections on its own looks increasingly onerous.
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