Where's the Party?: Democracy and Political Parties in Indian Constitutionalism

Although political parties profoundly affect the functioning of a democratic constitutional set-up, party dynamics are often ignored in comparative constitutional studies. In this paper, I will inquire how certain constitutional structures have facilitated or constrained the evolution of party system in India. At the same time, the Indian party system profoundly affects constitutional structures such as separation of powers and federalism. This paper seeks to achieve the above objective by analyzing the constituent assembly debates and judicial opinions dealing with party dynamics of the Indian Constitution. I conclude with the argument that rather than using merely as a tool for an external perspective on constitutional law, party dynamics should be made part of the internal logic of design and doctrine of constitutional law. The Indian experience provides a forceful example for why and how comparative constitutionalists should engage more deeply with party systems.