India has currently 6 national parties (Congress, BJP, CPI, CPM, BSP and NCP) and 52 state parties (prominently SP, JD(U), AIADMK, DMK, BJD, Akali Dal, JMM, RLD, National Conference, TDP, TMC etc.).

Since 1989 Lok Sabha Elections, no single party has got majority and all govts. have been coalition govts. This has led to a lot of instability. The period also has witnessed the emergence of strong regional satraps. Many of them have been offshoots of the erstwhile Janata Dal (Mulayam’s SP, Ajit Singh’s RLD, Lalu’s RJD, Nitish’s JD(U), Patnaik’s BJD, Deve Gowda’s JD(S), Paswan’s LJP) and Congress (Mamta’s TMC, Pawar’s NCP).

After each election, parties jostle against each other to support the leading combination in return for ministerial berths. The state parties essentially have no ideology and keep on changing partners to suit their best needs. A few examples below:

  • Ajit Singh was a Cabinet minister in Congress’s govt…

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