Parliamentary Opposition and Government Backbenchers in India

  • Valerian Rodrigues
Chapter

Abstract

The parliamentary opposition in India has not attracted systematic study or critical scholarship yet; neither has there been any focus on the distinct course this opposition has charted over time. Given the popularity of Kothari’s ‘one-party dominance system’ thesis, it is important to investigate the extent to which the ruling party encompassed its own opposition in the House. This chapter argues that such a response was more conjunctural than systemic. These conjunctures were marked by distinct modes of contentions within the ruling party, or party system, or the larger domain of Indian politics. Today, such a possibility has been curbed drastically owing to the Anti-Defection Law and changes in the party system. Further, India’s institutional politics—the committee system, federal structure of power, and local government—has ensured that the backbenchers do not emerge as an autonomous site of institutional power. The rise of the opposition itself is an interesting, but distinct, development in India, and today the opposition almost decides the working of parliament. The chapter explores the implications that such an opposition has for inclusiveness, not merely of diverse social constituencies and interests but political stances as well.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valerian Rodrigues
    • 1
  1. 1.Mangalore UniversityMangaloreIndia

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