The principle of Federalism in India provides for two levels of the Governments: one at the union level and another at the state level. The constitution in Part VI provides for organization of state government same as the centre.
The three lists viz; Union, Concurrent and State list provide for division of power. The state government legislates on both concurrent and state subjects. But, in certain circumstances these powers may be vested in the Union Parliament.
The form of organization of the state level is same as that at the centre. There exists a Parliamentary form of government at the centre as well as in the states.
But there are striking variance in the powers and functions of the institutions. It is striking that although national politics continues to affect the states in substantial degree, there occurs variance in their response.
Such developments reflect the differences in socioeconomic and ethical milieu. Prof. Iqbal Narain hints that any study of state politics in India must include history of a state, historical identity of the state, its political status before independence, its role in the freedom struggle, the impact of integration of princely states or of linguistic reorganization, geographical location, infrastructure manifesting itself in social pluralism, the level and pattern of economic development, human resources, the level of education and urbanization.
Despite the limitations of approaches and diversity of real politic, some prominent features of state politics can be broadly categorized. Caste plays a very vibrant role in the state politics.
It was manifestation of an organized association rather than a natural social group. Morris Jones observes that while top leaders may proclaim the goal of a casteless society, the newly enfranchised rural masses know only the language of traditional politics which so largely turns around caste.
Similarly rise of political parties like Astray Janata Dale, Samajwadi Party could be explained in terms of rise of OBC’s. Most of the states are plagued by factionalism. The conflict and rivalry between political parties for posts remain a crucial phenomenon.
There is very high party competitiveness in the states. With the decline of one party dominant system, this trend has become an important aspect of state politics.
Myron Weiner observes that party competitiveness increase as we move from national politics to state politics.
There has increased political participation of people. Even in states with lower rates of literacy and a less degree of urbanization, political participation has been greater due to linguistic agitations and nationalist movements.
The spirit of regionalism has become strong. The regional political parties have come to have a larger share in national politics.
There are many instances when the happenings in one state usually have only a local effect and do not produce any repercussion even in the other regions of the same state.
As a result of all these factors there have arisen a situation where in the regional leaders has raised populist slogans and anti-centre postures even the states are witnessing -political instability and serious upheavals.