Political parties and federally structured incentives in Indian politics: the case of the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK)

C. Manikandan, Andrew Wyatt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Political parties in India operate in a federal system. The incentives that encourage parties to form and seek office have a federal structure. Changes in India’s multilevel political system have accommodated the growth of new parties. At the national level small parties have had many opportunities since 1989 to participate in national coalitions. The Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), as a small party, has responded to this federal incentive structure. The PMK has been excluded from government in its home state of Tamil Nadu but was frequently a coalition partner of the union government between 1998 and 2009 (being rewarded with cabinet posts). An emerging party leader, Anbumani Ramadoss used his ministerial experience at the centre to enhance his image and prepare for a larger role at the state level. This article shows how fragmentation of the national party system and the different levels of the federal system gives opportunities to small parties to develop.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-102
Number of pages15
JournalContemporary South Asia
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2019

Keywords

  • Indian federalism
  • parliament
  • pork-barrel
  • small parties
  • state assembly

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