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Election Analysis: Battle for the States
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The assembly election verdicts for Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal emerged yesterday, on 19 May. 

Election manifestos in India are buttressed by guarantees made on domestic, local issues. State governments may take a stand on national policies, but this is of incidental importance – their ascendance to power is not known to be on the basis of it.

Having said that, the regionalisation of politics has increased the ability of state governments to impede or facilitate the implementation of Indian foreign policy, and this complicates an already uneasy balance between the centre and the states.

Assam is considered important for India’s ‘Act East’ policy, and remittances from migrant workers in West Asia constitute one of the drivers of Kerala's economy. Tamil Nadu and West Bengal have in the past been in conflict with the central government over India’s bilateral relations with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, respectively.

This five-part series on the battle for the states is an effort to recognise some of the dynamics and distinguishing features of state-level politics, which are vital for the understanding of Indian political and policy behaviour.

Ruhee Neog
Assistant Director, IPCS.


The Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) is the premier South Asian think tank which conducts independent research on and provides an in depth analysis of conventional and non-conventional issues related to national and South Asian security including nuclear issues, disarmament, non-proliferation, weapons of mass destruction, the war on terrorism, counter terrorism , strategies security sector reforms, and armed conflict and peace processes in the region.

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