Federalism, Populism And Policy Making

India like the US has a federal political structure with significant powers vested in state governments. To read more about it, please see my earlier post (from July) on Goods and Services Tax.

The Union (Federal) government run by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) has been facing a lot of political heart-burn related to the subdivision of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh into smaller states (referred to in the media as the Telangana statehood movement). Recently, Ms.Mayawati, chief minister of the India's most populous state Uttar Pradesh (and arch rival of the UPA regime), tabled a proposal in the state legislature to divide the state into four smaller ones creating a political storm in the process. More...