Explain any three elements of consensus which have emerged among most political parties after the Lok Sabha elections of 2004
After 1989, instead of ideology, the political parties consensus consisted of four elements:
1. Agreements on new economic policies: While many groups are opposed to the new economic policies, most political parties are in support of the new economic policies. Most parties believe that these policies would lead the country to prosperity and a status of economic power in the world.
2. Acceptance of the political and social claims of the backward castes: Political parties have recognised that the social and political claims of the backward castes need to be accepted. As a result, all political parties now support reservation of seats for the backward classes, in education and employment. Political parties are also willing to ensure that the OBCs get adequate share of power.
3. Acceptance of the role of state-level parties in governance of the country: The distinction between state level and national level parties is fast becoming less important. State-level parties share power at the national level and have played a central role in the country’s politics of the last twenty years or so.
4. Emphasis on pragmatic considerations rather than ideological positions and political alliances without ideological agreement: Coalition politics has shifted the focus of political parties from ideological difference to power sharing arrangements. Thus, most parties of the NDA did not agree with the ‘Hindutva’ ideology of the BJP. Yet, they came together to form a government and remained in power for a full term