In the 1970s, when a famous political analyst coined the term “Congress System”, the so-called “system” was actually under tremendous pressure and was crumbling. The danger for him was not from outside but from within, and a new kind of political pressure was being created.
In 1967, the Congress had to face defeat in eight states. By then the concept of ‘one nation one election’ was not even born, but state assembly elections and Lok Sabha elections were held simultaneously. Then the Congress somehow managed to win the Lok Sabha elections. The Congress was defeated not by a single alternative national power, but by a number of new and even conflicting forces or political alliances.
The DMK in Tamil Nadu and the CPM in West Bengal had little in common, as did the Akali Dal in Punjab and the Hindutva-based Jana Sangh in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
In the same year, i.e. 1967, the socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia appealed for the formation of a front of anti-Congress parties and thus non-Congress politics took a concrete form for the first time in the country.