Parliamentary Elections in India in 2014: Implications for the Domestic and Foreign Policy
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Uniwersytet Warszawski
Publication date: 2015-03-31
Stosunki Międzynarodowe – International Relations 2015;51(1):187-211
In 2014, India held elections to the lower chamber of the parliament, the Lok Sabha (People’s Assembly). For the first time since 1984, one party won more than 50 per cent of the seats in the lower chamber, which allows it to govern independently. The victory of the National Democratic Alliance coalition led by the Indian People’s Party (Bharatiya Janata Party, BJP), which will have 336 seats (in 543) in the Lok Sabha, and the worst election result of the Indian National Congress ever (only 44 seats) shaped a new political scene in India. The aim of this article is to analyse the election results and discuss their impact on the political system and on India’s foreign and economic policy. The key concept of the article is to seek an answer to whether the victory of the BJP and the establishment of the new government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have an effect on the pace of economic reform and foreign policy of India. It seems that such a decisive victory of one party gives India an opportunity to carry out the necessary but difficult reforms, especially in the agricultural sector, labour law, etc. However, we should avoid explicit opinions because any analysis of the elections to the Lok Sabha should take into account the specificity of India, which is a diverse and multicultural country. The article presents the possible scenarios for domestic and foreign policy, but it seems that the results of the elections will bring evolution rather than revolution. This applies especially to domestic policy. We should not expect any significant acceleration in the implementation of unpopular reforms. Considerable changes are much more likely to take place in India’s foreign policy.
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