Coalition Government in India – Features, Merits and Demerits, Coalition Politics

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

A coalition Government is a representation of varied parties who have unanimously agreed on certain ideologies and establishment of Government. The coalition Government is a cauldron of numerous perspectives and addresses the grievances of numerous strata of society. There are a plethora of advantages as well as certain disadvantages associated with the coalition government. The term ‘coalition’ traces its meaning from the Latin word ‘coalition, ‘which infers to grow together. The first coalition government in India was established by Janata Party. This government follows on the basis of the consensus that leads to a higher probability of attaining better results and making better decisions.

The ideologies behind the establishment of the coalition government are traced to provide the space for hearing the grievances, concerns, and desires of all the segments of society. This article facilitates complete information on the meaning of coalition government, its history, and its features. The candidates can get the complete details of the coalition government by referring to this article the candidates can embark on the way of effective preparation.

What is Coalition Government?

A group of advisors comes together to supervise and regulate a country’s administration. This especially happens when no single party has won a majority in an election.

  • A temporary solution to such a situation is a Coalition Government.
  • One of India’s best examples of a Coalition Government in India was the 5-year term when Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the prime minister.
  • The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) had a Coalition Government and these serve as an example of a coalition government.
  • It is a great way to moderate inner political conflicts and contentions and works mutually for the progress and development of the country.

Coalition Government Members

All the Coalition Government members are appointed to a cabinet for the smooth functioning of the government by determining common goals through agendas and strategies.

  • If a Coalition Government in India collapses, a confidence vote is held, or a no-confidence motion is taken.
  • If you look back into the political history of 2003, when Saddam Hussein in Iraq was supposedly prosecuted, it was a brilliant outcome of an international coalition or, better to term it, a coalition of those willing to achieve this goal.

Coalition Government: History

The History of the coalition government traces its roots back to the splitting of the Indian National Congress in Independent India. The first coalition government was established by Janata Dal, Congress, and support from outside. It was renowned as Janata Party and Charan Singh became the Prime Minister. Check here the history of the coalition government in India and trace its roots

List of Coalition Governments in India Since Independence Prime Minister
Janata Party [1979-1980] Charan Singh
National Front [1989-1990] V.P Singh
Janata Dal or Samajwadi Janata Party [1990-1991] Chandra Shekhar
United Front [1996- 1997] H.D Deve Gowda
United Front [1997-1998] I.K Gujral
BJP led coalition [1998-1999] A,B Vajpayee
National Democratic Alliance [1999-2004] A.B Vajpayee
United Progressive Alliance [2004-2009] Manmohan Singh
United Progressive Alliance [ 2009-2014] Manmohan Singh
NDA [2014-2019] Narendra Modi
NDA [2019- Present] Narendra Modi

Features of Coalition Government

A Coalition Government implies the co-existence of at least two or more political parties. It is temporary conjunction for a specific interest as coalition politics in India is a dynamic affair where the parties or groups can dissolve or form new ones.

  • A Coalition Government always has room for diverse interests in the functioning of the government
  • The political parties may have different ideologies and agendas, but the Coalition Government in India runs on consensus-based politics, which strengthens the federal fabric of any political system.
  • Since all members are added to a cabinet, this kind of government reduces the chances of dictatorial rule.
  • The Coalition Government is not permanent but temporary and is prone to instability.
  • The resolution of the coalition is basically to take hold of power.

Coalition Government- Merits And Demerits

The pros and cons of the coalition government have also been a primary subject of debate. In one way it caters to the interests of a diverse population, on the other hand, it is assumed to be an unstable government. Take a look at the enlisted Advantages and disadvantages of the Coalition government. The main merits of the coalition government are that it facilitates a room for cater and address to the grievances of numerous citizens. It strengthens the democracy and federalism. However, it is highly debated as it is instable and prone to disbandment.

Merits of Coalition Government

The rise of the coalition government is attributed to the fact that it acts as a safeguard for numerous sections of society whose concerns will not go unaddressed. There are other advantages for which the coalition government is favored in the era of democracy.

  • It caters to the needs of the different strata of society. It covers the interests of many groups.
  • The coalition government is a cauldron of varied ideologies and the decision can be made on the basis of consensus. Henceforth, the decisions are consensus-based.
  • It is renowned for its representativeness, as India has varied cultures, and identities. The coalition government is able to address the grievances of all the segments of society and is a better representative of the nation.
  • It poses a barrier to autocratic leadership and rule, as all the parties take the decisions unanimously.
  • It enhances the chances of taking the right decisions because it goes through different views and perspectives.

Demerits Of Coalition Government

Along with the numerous benefits, there are some disadvantages associated with the coalition government. As common governance and joint governance are the two pillars of the coalition government, some demerits also surface through this.

  • The difference in perspectives and views can lead to imbalance and instability in the government.
  • In the Parliamentary form of government, the Prime Minister is considered the leader. In the coalition government, the Prime Minister will have to take in suggestions and advice from the partners in the coalition for making decisions.
  • There is a possibility of a rise of conflicts in the longing for power in the Government.
  • The regional parties’ representatives bring forth regional issues and conflicts, in a way pestering the Government to act in accordance with their desires.
  • Coalition Government also poses a threat to the effectiveness of the policies. Due to a lack of unanimous decision and consensus, many laws are not implemented.

Coalition Government For UPSC Exam

These topics frame an essential segment of the UPSC syllabus. The candidates who are aspiring to be IAS officers can kickstart their preparations. While referring to the UPSC previous year papers and sample papers the candidates can get the whole details of the pattern of questions that are asked in the exam, this will also assist them in weighing their level of preparation.

The candidates can get access to the PDF that has been facilitated here in order to accelerate toward the defined path. An accurate knowledge of all the concepts will also assist the candidates in making decisions, eliminating wrong options and picking the right option in UPSC prelims exam.

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