The 1977 elections for the first time saw the Opposition coming into power at the Centre. What would you consider as the reasons for this development?

The 1977 elections for the first time saw the opposition coming into power at the centre, the following factors were responsible for the defeat of the congress and the development of the opposition:-

1. Imposition of the internal emergency – for the first time in the history of free India, internal emergency was imposed. Immediately after the imposition of the emergency, the leaders of all the opposition parties including JP Narayan were thrown behind the bars. The real motive behind the declaration of the emergency was to remain in power and to extend the tenure.

2. Excess during emergency – the basic liberties of people were suppressed. No individuals or party could utter word against the imposition of emergency or the excess committed by the government.

3. Imposition of Black acts like MISA – during the emergency, the various black acts were passed by the Indian government. People suspected of anything against the government were arrested and put in jail without any trial under MISA. The lives, liberty, respect and property of no person was considered safe.

4. Constitutional amendments – Indira government lowered the position of the judiciary through the 42nd amendment. In fact judiciary was subordinated to the executive, the scope of judicial review was limited to a great excess.

5. Compulsory Sterilization – at the instance of the Sanjay Gandhi, the various states particularly Haryana resorted to the compulsory sterilization to a great extent.

6. Rising prices – the condition of Indian people became pitiable due to the continuous rise in prices people were very sore with the congress government over this issue.

7. Availability of alternate leadership – JP Narayan emerged as a leader of Indian unrest. He was the most respected leader after Nehru. People came to realise that they can fall back on him after dislodging the congress from power.