SOAS University of London

SOAS South Asia Institute

Lok Sabha Elections in India 2019 and Prospects for the Future

Professor James Manor (Institute of Commonwealth Studies), Dr. James Chiriyankandath (Institute of Commonwealth Studies), Dr. Mukulika Banerjee (LSE), Dr. Rekha Diwakar (University of Sussex), Dr. Rochana Bajpai, SOAS and Prof. Gurharpal Singh SOAS

Date: 24 May 2019Time: 5:30 PM

Finishes: 24 May 2019Time: 7:30 PM

Venue: Paul Webley Wing (Senate House) Room: Alumni Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Panel Discussion

The 17th Lok Sabha elections in India are being held from the 11th April to the 19th May 2019. In one of the most bitterly contested campaigns since independence, the outcome of these elections is likely to mark a watershed moment in the development of Indian democracy in the twenty-first century. To reflect on the results, their significance, and implications for India’s political system, the SOAS South Asia Institute has brought together a panel of leading experts on contemporary Indian politics.

The panel will evaluate the emerging data on the election results that will be available from 23rd May. In the event of the BJP and NDA failing to achieve a clear mandate, the panel will consider the likely combinations for coalition formation at the centre and the durability of such coalitions. The election results will also provide a timely opportunity to assess the BJP-led NDA’s domestic and foreign policies and the role of Opposition in influencing decision-making. The panel will also consider the ramifications of increased centrality of national security issues during these elections since the Pulwama incident and its aftermath. To what extent the results indicate that these policies will be consolidated or mark a radical new path is a question that will also be addressed.

  • Professor James Manor is Emeritus Professor of Commonwealth Studies at the Institute of Common wealth Studies. He is the former Director of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies and publishes and commentates regularly on Indian politics.
  • Dr. James Chiriyankandath is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies. He is the editor of the Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics and has written extensively on Hindu nationalism.
  • Dr. Mukulika Banerjee is Director South Asia Centre and Associate Professor at the LSE. She is currently completing a book manuscript based on 15 years of ethnographic data of rural voters and their multivalent engagement with elections and voting activities in West Bengal, India.
  • Dr. Rekha Diwakar is a Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Sussex. Her research interests include Indian politics and public policy, comparative politics, especially electoral competition and voting behaviour, size of the party systems and research methods in political science. She has published in Representation, Electoral Studies, Party Politics, and Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties.
  • Dr. Rochana Bajpai is Senior Lecturer in Politics at SOAS. She is the author of Debating Difference: Group Rights and Liberal Democracy in India, and her research interests include comparative political thought and political ideologies, liberalism and multiculturalism, and modern Indian politics.
  • Professor Gurharpal Singh is a professor of Sikh and Punjab Studies at SOAS. His research interests include contemporary Indian politics, corruption, ethnic conflict in India, Hindu nationalism and the partition of India. He jointly edited New Dimensions of Politics in India: The UPA in Power.

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Organiser: SOAS South Asia Institute

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