Is coalition politics good for India?

Is coalition politics good for India?

With the recent victory of the “Mahagathbandhan” in Bihar, analysts are saying that coalition politics in India is far from over. A coalition government forms when two/more political parties form an alliance compromising on their concerned party policy and agenda. Coalition governments have been around for a long time now. Various countries including UK, Finland and Australia have witnessed formation of coalition governments. But is a coalition good for the people? Let’s see what the ruling verdict is.


1. An undemocratic and unelected coalition : Coalition is made up of democratically elected representatives, but in itself, it is a way to grab power regardless of the verdict of the electorate.

2. Partisan grab of power in a political crisis : Coalition politics is merely a partisan grab to capitalise on a political crisis.

3. Coalition creates political insecurities : Forming alliances is filled with challenges and each coalition member suffers from insecurities regarding the alliance. Further, citizens also cannot be sure when the coalition government will give way and leave them in a state of political anarchy.

4. Coalition politics impacts the power of the Centre : Alliance between national and regional parties has impacted the relations between the Union and the States. While regional parties give stress to their state’s problems and place pressure on coalition government to provide greater attention to these, the Centre tries to balance regional interests in different states. This creates a lack of congruence in the functioning of the federal polity in India.

5. Coalition symbolises political instability : Not one person thought about the coalition when India regained freedom and the INC was the sole ruling party. With the advent of the NDA in 1971, coalition politics in India gained momentum. Now, with the regionalisation and fragmentation of politics, coalitions have become an unstable agreement in uncertain times, where there are no political allies or enemies.

6. Coalition government is by compulsion : It is not an alliance formed by willing parties. Often, the parties in the coalition are at odds with each other on even basic issues. This leads to a lot of political infighting apart from creating political compulsions for parties to compromise on their ideals and values.

7. Voting for a coalition is not voting for change : Often, coalitions cause the ruling party or leading parties to form alliances with less number of seats. This enables them to grab power again and goes against the verdict of the electorate for a change.

8. Too many cooks spoil the broth : If there are too many parties controlling the fate of the people, anarchy and disorder will eventually result because no single party is in power. Multiple parties means a multitude of opinions on every issue and lack of agreement on policies or their implementation.

9. Leads to unnecessary discussions over bill passage in the parliament : If there are more parties with a say in the matter, no Bill will be passed without lengthy debates, discussions and disruptions. The smooth functioning of the Parliament is harmed by the advent of coalition politics and this is not good for the country.

10. Outside support in a coalition can be withdrawn any time : Outside support is also a critical political quotient in the entire equation. If outside support is withdrawn, the ruling party will not be able to govern and political instability will result.

11. Right policies cannot be implemented : As the ruling party has to pander to the needs of regional parties, often right policies are prevented from being implemented. The government becomes fragile and seeks to engage in decision making which is biased towards its political survival rather than the welfare of the nation.


1. Ensures representation of regional parties : By far, the most largest advantage of coalition government at the centre is the proportionate representation of regional political parties in the LS. This ensures that they have a voice in the decisions or proceedings of the court.

2. Undemocratic bills are opposed : Coalitions represent the will of a broader section of the population thereby working as an effective tool to stave off passage of undemocratic bills which are not in the interests of the larger democracy

3. Does represent the will of the people : If a coalition government is in power, this means that the electorate has given a verdict which is mixed. The formation of a coalition government therefore does reflect the will of the people.

4. Coalition governments worldwide have been successful : This includes governments in Canada, Australia and Finland. A coalition government offers greater success for diverse communities of India to have a say in the decision making process.

5. A coalition government represents the true spirit of democracy : It is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Votes have to be divided in the name of communities, castes and religions because India is truly a pluralistic society which values diversity.

6. Decision making is more democratic : Since many of the coalition members do not share a common ideology, they engage in widespread discourse regarding policy and decision making. This reflects the true essence of democracy.

7. Alliances represent aspirations of people : The alliances of political parties represent the aspirations of people from every region and constituency, rather than a dominant majority. The voice of the minority is not stifled. India states find space within the national agenda.

8. Joint manifesto is to the benefit of the nation : Alliances force political parties to be conscious of their public image and practice discretion within their policy making, actions and decisions. It reflects an understanding of the reality of contemporary political scenarios.

9. Prevents polarisation : Political alliances mean that parties will have to compromise on radical ideologies and approaches to make decisions which are more in the interests of the people.

10 Past political mistakes will not be repeated : When diverse regional parties coalesce to form a union, they are able to concentrate on solution oriented decision making and prevent repetition of political mistakes.


All said and done, political parties will continue to rely on coalitions regardless of electoral verdicts. This has its advantages as well as disadvantages. In the ultimate analysis, it is the competency of the government and not whether it is a coalition or an individual party, that plays an important role in impacting the welfare of the people. Whether the right decisions come from a coalition or an individual ruling party, they will always be appreciated and rewarded by the public.
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  • RE: Is coalition politics good for India? -Deepa Kaushik (12/09/15)
  • Coalition politics has its own pros and cons. It is the type when the political parties merge ahead of election. This reduces the options for the common man to choose their candidate. With respect to the common man, it is a good option to have minimal contestants whom they have to analyse before excising their veto power. Citizens need to be made clear of the manifesto much ahead of the elections, so that the parties get clear for their proceedings after forming the Government.

    For the political parties forming a coalition party, they need to be very clear of each others’ expectations and working platform. Both the parties need to compromise at some or the other point to have a better hold over the Government. Coalition politics is very much appreciated and well executed in areas where the leaders truly work for the benefit of the citizens. With such a motto at hand, it becomes easy for any party to compromise their way of execution of the work for the benefit of common man.

    On the other hand, the politics with corruption and selfish trends often create mess for the common man. Such parties often find it difficult to compromise their manifesto as compromising often hits their selfish expectations and requirements. The greed or power and authority makes the coalition politics much worse and ugly when attempting to implement the same.

    Coalition politics also hits the common man in various ways. When the execution is focussed on fulfilling the selfish desires, it becomes difficult to function as a single party. When a good quality time is spent in the internal trifles, how can the common man expect any of his requirements to be fulfilled? Hence, coalition politics is good only when they share a honest common motto of serving the citizens dedicatedly.
  • RE: Is coalition politics good for India? -SUNIL kumar yadav (12/09/15)
  • india is a democratic country where people elect their representative by casting their vote. actually the fact is that for a constituency where people elect their rep at small level is quite OK because all good-worth which should be implemented, has to done only by the elected rep and this possible only if the ruling govt support them in good faith, but reality is reverse, ruling govt tries to lay down the image of that particular constituency.

    talking about coalition govt like mahagatbandhan (without proper majority) is compulsion of govt to coalition because if it is not done there would be two option emergency or re - election and this would take 05-06 months and during these period no fruitful result for the welfare of people will come out.

    to avoid this govt has to generate good faith in the minds of people, implement good and healthy policies to streamline the system to bridge the gap between developing to developed, better disbursement facility, corruption-less environment, reduce poverty, control over pollution and population.