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The Struggle for Local Government: Indian Democracy's New Phase

Peter Ronald deSouza
Publius
Vol. 33, No. 4, Emerging Federal Process in India (Autumn, 2003), pp. 99-118
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3331198
Page Count: 20
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The Struggle for Local Government: Indian Democracy's New Phase
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Abstract

The 73rd Constitutional Amendment of 1993 giving local government a constitutional status introduced new institutions into the working of Indian democracy through several significant innovations, such as reservations of seats for marginal groups, women, Dalits, and Adivasis; creation of a decentralized planning mechanism; establishment of state election commissions to oversee local elections and state finance commissions to prepare a blueprint for sharing of state revenues; and institutionalization of the village assembly (gram sabha). This article examines the implications of these innovations for local government and vulnerable groups in the context of Indian democracy. It does so within the larger debate on the capability of political institutions to produce outcomes and so a new political culture.

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