What do you think are the reasons for some states in India having strong regional political parties, while others don’t?

polity : What do you think are the reasons for some states in India having strong regional political parties, while others don't?Edit
Some states having strong regional parties: Tamil nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra & telangana, Kashmir

Answer by Balaji Viswanathan:

I have a detailed summary on Indian politics here: What would be the summary of the politics of India from 1947 to today?

The reasons for strong regional parties vary from state to state. In most cases, it is a frustration of national parties and the evaporation of trust of the old Congress party. Since it is an issue of alternatives for Congress, a regional party is strong in places where BJP doesn't have a strong presence. Where BJP had a presence, it took care of the alternative for Congress leading to weak regional parties (Karnataka for instance).

  1. Tamil Nadu: Tamils lost interest in national parties in the 1967 elections, after the central government was relentless in insisting Hindi as the sole official language of India. Central government eventually backed off, but the trust was never earned again. The opportunity has been used by DMK and its various spinoffs like ADMK. Until the issue of language is resolved, neither national parties are likely to make much impact.
  2. Andhra Pradesh/Telengana: AP moved out of Congress in 1983  after a long period of inept Congress governments. There was a circus going on with 5 chief ministers from Congress in 5 years (1978-83). People got tired of this stupid game of musical chair & no longer trusted Congress to work in the best interests of the state. NTR led TDP has been a quite powerful force since 1983.
  3. Jammu & Kashmir: In case of J&K, it was the central government that was too distrustful and suspicious. In 1965, Sheikh Abdullah merged National Conference with Congress. But, he was still arrested for treason after he met with Chinese leaders. Since then Congress has found it very hard to gain back the trust of the Kashmiris.
  4. Uttar Pradesh: Until the Ram mandhir agitation, UP was primarily with Congress/BJP. The polarization resulting out of Ram mandhir agitation led to the rise of Mulayam and Mayawati, who both used Muslim and Dalit votes in their rise.
  5. West Bengal: Unlike in the south India, land reforms were very slow in the north, in the period post-independence. The landlords were way too powerful. The collective resentment against landlords and the party they represented, moved the state towards Communism.
  6. Northeastern States: Almost all Northeastern states alternate between Congress and a regional party as BJP has not yet become an option for them. Whenever they are bored with an inept regional party they vote for Congress and vice versa. They never got a leader they deserved.

What do you think are the reasons for some states in India having strong regional political parties, while others don't?


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