Indira Gandhi: In Context and in Power

Granville Austin

in Working a Democratic Constitution

Published in print July 2003 | ISBN: 9780195656107
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080397 | DOI:
Indira Gandhi: In Context and in Power

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After the death of Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, a new era marked by confrontation over institutional and personal power began with the arrival in the Prime Minister's office of Nehru's daughter, Indira Gandhi. Self-evidently, essential issues of constitutional governance underlay her actions in these confrontations. In New Delhi, the distribution of powers among the three branches of government was gravely unsettled. Mrs Gandhi's grip on the Congress Parliamentary Party exceeded the power typically enjoyed by prime ministers in parliamentary systems, where prime ministers heed as well as lead their followers. This chapter provides the context for the constitutional developments that marked this period. It examines Mrs Gandhi's invocation of socialist themes to consolidate her authority; the rise to prominence of a new political generation; and the increasing migration of authority from a variety of institutions and individuals to the office and person of the Prime Minister.

Keywords: Lal Bahadur Shastri; socialism; New Delhi; Congress Parliamentary Party

Chapter.  10406 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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