Vajpayee’s Government Collapses in India (Great Events: 1900-2001)
Article abstract: Only thirteen months after being elected as India’s prime minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee lost a vote of confidence in parliament, forcing creation of a new government or new elections.
Political Instability in India
Since gaining its independence in 1947, India has had a parliamentary style of democracy based on the British system. Because a large percentage of the adult population votes, Indian politicians must be responsive to the people. Nearly forty political parties exist in India, but until the late 1980’s, one political party, the Congress Party, dominated the country’s politics, thereby providing a certain amount of stability. Over the years, some of the party’s members became corrupt, causing people to mistrust the Congress Party and opening the door for challenges from some of the other parties. This caused some instability in the electoral process because no single party could gain a clear majority, and the parties were forced to form coalitions.
In a coalition government, if one of the parties in the coalition withdraws its support, the government can collapse. When this occurs, a vote of confidence is called in the parliament to determine if a new coalition can be formed. If it cannot, then a new election must be called. In the last ten years, unstable coalitions have led to the formation of five different governments in India.
Vajpayee’s Rise and Fall...
(The entire section is 716 words.)
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