A coalition government is a collection of various parties that have unanimously agreed on a specific ideology and the formation of government. The coalition government is a melting pot of many viewpoints that tackles the problems of various segments of society. The coalition government has numerous advantages and disadvantages. The phrase ‘coalition’ derives from the Latin word ‘coalition,’ which means to grow together. The Janata Party founded India’s first coalition administration. This government operates based on consensus, which increases the likelihood of achieving more excellent outcomes and making sound judgments.

The beliefs that drove the formation of the coalition government are traced back to the need to give a forum for all parts of society to express their issues, concerns, and ambitions. This article provides comprehensive information on the concept of coalition government, its history, and its characteristics. Candidates can obtain complete data about the coalition government by reading this article, and they can begin their successful preparation.

Definition of Coalition Government

A coalition government is one whereby political parties unite to create a government. The usual rationale for such a deal is that every party has yet to win an absolute majority following an election.

The coalition government is a group of advisors created when various political parties work together to supervise and regulate a country. We can refer to it as a temporary partnership, which forms when no single political party gets a clear majority and opposing parties agree to collaborate. Such circumstances are more likely to occur during times of crisis, such as war or political breakdown.

Cabinet members are appointed from all coalition parties. Cabinets formed by a collection of parties with a parliamentary majority are more stable and last longer than minority cabinets. Although the former is susceptible to internal conflicts, they have fewer reasons to dread a vote of no confidence. The majority of administrations based on a single party are often more stable as long as the majority is maintained.

Features of a Coalition Government

A coalition agreement is an arrangement reached between the parties that form a coalition government in a multi-party country.

It codifies the cabinet’s most important shared goals and objectives.

Parliamentary party leaders frequently author it.

The fundamental principle of a coalition system is the temporary confluence of specific interests.

Coalition politics is a dynamic process in which coalition actors and entities can collapse and form new ones.

Coalitions are classified into two types: internal and external alliances.

Internal coalitions are comprised of individuals who already belong to an organization, such as an office.

In India, coalition governments include the Jansatta Dal, National Front, United Front, NDA, and UPA.

Formation and Functioning

A coalition government may also be created during a period of national difficulties or crisis in order to give a government a strong sense of political legitimacy or shared identity.

It could also reduce internal political turmoil.

A coalition government is formed by the alliance of more than one party.

A government is created when a party wins a large number of votes in an election.

When no single party has an absolute majority, a coalition government is formed by the cooperation of two or more parties.

Advantages of Coalition Governments

The coalition government’s growth is attributed to its role as a safety net for many segments of society, ensuring that their issues are handled. There are other reasons why a coalition administration is preferred in a democracy.

It meets the needs of all strata of society. It addresses the interests of a wide range of groups.

The coalition government is a melting pot of different beliefs, and decisions can be reached based on consensus. Decisions will be made based on consensus in the future.

It is well-known for its representativeness, reflecting India’s diverse cultures and identities. The coalition administration can address the problems of all parts of society and is a more accurate representation of the nation.

It creates a barrier to autocratic leadership and governance because all parties make decisions collectively.

It increases the likelihood of making the correct option by considering several points of view and perspectives.

Disadvantages of Coalition Governments

Aside from the obvious positives, there are also drawbacks to the coalition government. Because shared governance and joint governance are the coalition government’s two cornerstones, various disadvantages arise as a result.

Different ideas and points of view can create imbalance and volatility in the administration.

The Prime Minister is regarded as the leader of a Parliamentary administration. In the coalition government, the Prime Minister must consider recommendations and advice from coalition partners when making decisions.

There is a risk of an increase in confrontations for authority in the government.

Regional party members raise regional conflicts and problems, pressuring the government to act in line with their wishes.

The coalition government also jeopardises policy effectiveness. Many laws are not implemented because there is a lack of unanimous approval and consensus.

Notable Coalition Governments in India

The coalition government’s history dates back to the separation of the Indian National Congress in Independent India. The Janata Dal, the Congress, and outside assistance formed the first coalition administration, which was known as the Janata Party. Charan Singh became Prime Minister. Check out the background of the coalition government in India and trace its origins

Party Leader
Janata Party [1979-1980]Charan Singh
National Front [1989-1990]V.P Singh
Janata Dal or Samajwadi Janata Party [1990-1991]Chandra Shekhar
United Front [1996- 1997]H.D Deve Gowda
United Front [1997-1998]I.K Gujral
BJP- led coalition [1998-1999]A,B Vajpayee
National Democratic Alliance [1999-2004]A.B Vajpayee
United Progressive Alliance [2004-2009]Manmohan Singh
United Progressive Alliance [ 2009-2014]Manmohan Singh
NDA [2014-2019]Narendra Modi
NDA [2019- Present]Narendra Modi

Impact on Indian Politics

It is widely acknowledged that Indian democracy is experiencing a fundamental transition. Several changes have occurred, including fundamental changes in the nature of electoral competition, a multi-fold growth in the number of the middle class, social media penetration, and the demise of old hierarchies, among other things. The social and geographical rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since 2014 has transformed the political environment, further marginalizing the Congress, decimating the Left Front, and reducing the strength of state-level parties. The BJP has made huge gains across the board, reducing the disparities between previous vote blocs as well as other socioeconomic cleavages.

Similarly, state-level specificities, which dominated discussions in the previous two decades, have lost some traction in election analyses, particularly in understanding the boundaries of national politics.

Comparison with Other Countries


Coalition governments are prevalent in Germany, where a single party rarely wins a parliamentary majority. The German political system makes frequent use of the constructive vote of no confidence, requiring administrations to hold an absolute majority of seats.


Political freedom has expanded dramatically since Suharto’s overthrow. Compared to the only three parties permitted to exist during the New Order era, 48 political parties competed in the 1999 election, and more than 10 parties competed in subsequent elections. There was no majority winner in those elections, and coalition administrations were unavoidable.


Since Finland’s independence, no party has held an absolute majority in parliament, and multi-party coalitions are the norm. Finland had its most robust government (Lipponen I and II) since independence, with a five-party governing coalition known as the “rainbow government”. 


Coalition governments, formed when no single party wins a majority, unite multiple parties to govern collectively. Originating from the Latin word for “growing together,” they ensure diverse representation and prevent autocratic rule by requiring consensus in decision-making. Despite advantages like inclusivity and representativeness, they face challenges such as instability and policy implementation difficulties. In India, notable coalitions include the Janata Party, NDA, and UPA, which have significantly influenced the political landscape. Globally, countries like Germany, Indonesia, and Finland also rely on coalition systems, highlighting both their benefits and inherent challenges.


What is an example of a coalition government in India?

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance, with Atal Bihari Vajpayee as Prime Minister from 1999 to 2004, was India’s first successful coalition administration to finish a full five-year mandate.

Who is the current coalition government?

The present coalition government in India is the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Which is the first coalition government in India?

In response, a state of emergency was imposed on the grounds of national security. The next election saw the emergence of India’s first national coalition government, led by Morarji Desai, as well as the country’s first non-Congress cabinet.

Is NDA a coalition government?

It was ready to form a government in the coalition as the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) with the help of its coalition partners, who contributed a further 53 seats. However, it now needs their support to govern.