The Last Fortress of Congress Dominance: Maharashtra Since the 1990s


Authors: Suhas Palshikar, Rajeshwari Deshpande

9789353886790 | HB | pp. 312 | 2021 | SAGE Publications Pvt. Ltd

Focussing mainly on Maharashtra politics since 1990s, this is a detailed study of the socio-political forces that have dominated the state since the 1950s.

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Focused mainly on Maharashtra’s politics since the 1990s, The Last Fortress of Congress Dominance also provides its readers a clear view of the historical context and the socio-political forces that have dominated the state since the 1950s. The politics of Maharashtra has been woven around two key factors: the Congress party and the Marathas. Attempts by the Shiv Sena and the BJP to emerge as alternatives to the Congress have had only limited success so far. As the state politics witnesses the transition into a new party system, the book presents a detailed study on the party system of Maharashtra and situates the analysis in the broader context of crisis of the Marathas and the many distortions of the state’s political economy.

Aided by rich survey data from the National Election Studies, for all elections since 1996, the book presents a long-term view of the politics of Maharashtra as the state completes 60 years of its existence.

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Suhas Palshikar, Rajeshwari Deshpande




SAGE Publications Pvt. Ltd





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About the Author

Suhas Palshikar, based in Pune, India, taught political science from 1978 first at SP College, Pune, and later at Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune (1989–2016). He is co-director of Lokniti, a research programme on comparative democracy, based at CSDS, Delhi, and chief editor of the biannual journal brought out by SAGE, Studies in Indian Politics. He was also the editor of Samaaj Prabodhan Patrika during 1990–2004. He is associated with the National Election Study since the 1996 elections.

Rajeshwari Deshpande is Professor of Politics at Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune. She was the Indian Council for Cultural Relations visiting professor (Rajiv Gandhi Chair in Contemporary Indian Studies) at the University of Technology, Sydney, in 2014 and UK–India Education and Research Initiative visiting fellow at King’s India Institute, London, in 2012. Her research interests are in areas such as intellectual traditions of Maharashtra, comparative state politics, politics of the urban poor, urban caste–class realities, women’s politics and policies related to social welfare.


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