While confirming the general structure of the economic choices initiated in the early nineties, especially in relation to incentives for foreign investments, the government restored state support for agriculture, slowing down the already limited and complex insertion of the Indian economy into the world market. In foreign policy the refusal, already expressed by the Rao government, to participate in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was reiterated, a decision that aroused heavy criticism from international public opinion. Relations with Pakistan remained very problematic, above all due to the unresolved question of Kashmir, which worsened in the 1990s due to the strengthening and multiplication of Muslim separatist movements, a phenomenon also due to influx of mercenaries from different Islamic countries, which led to a kind of internationalization of the conflict. To this dramatic situation the central power, worried about the possible repercussions at the national level, responded, in line with its traditional conduct, with the rejection of any request for greater autonomy and with a further accentuation of the military choice. For India 2017, please check mathgeneral.com.
In March 1997 the executive, whose life was made difficult by the difficulty of reconciling the interests of such a large coalition, lost the support of the Indian National Congress (I), after the resignation from the leadership of the party of Rao, involved in yet another scandal, they had led S. Kesri, an opponent of the prime minister, to the presidency, and after the entry into the party of Sonia Maino Gandhi, widow of R. Gandhi, had initiated a redefinition of internal equilibrium. After Devgoda’s resignation, a minority government, formed by the United Front and headed by India Kumar Gujral, a senior and esteemed intellectual and political leader welcomed by the Indian National Congress, took office. (THE); the latter assured Gujral of his support until, in November 1997, he refused to grant the request to expel from the coalition the DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam), involved in the investigation into the death of R. Gandhi for having had contact with the ‘Tamil Tigers’, the underground organization accused of his murder (in January 1998some militants of the group were found guilty and sentenced). The most significant novelty, however ephemeral, of the Gujral government was the new direction in foreign policy, aimed at seeking an improvement in relations with neighboring countries, an improvement to be achieved also through unilateral acts of collaboration. The resignation of the Gujral government, now without a majority, led to the early elections which, held in February-March 1998, confirmed the growth of the BJP. The latter, thanks to the adoption of a more pragmatic and apparently more open attitude, had made a series of alliances thus overcoming its typically regional connotation (the alliance with Aiadmk, the rising party of Tamil Nadu, is particularly important). L’ Indian National Congress (I) recorded a substantial holding of its positions, but failed to translate the enthusiasm aroused by S. Maino Gandhi’s descent into the field, while the United Front came out of the electoral test heavily defeated.
The 19 March 1998 a new government headed by AB Vajpayee, leader of the BJP, took office. The new prime minister, a parliamentarian for many legislatures, already active during the liberation struggle and a member of the RSS, despite being considered a moderate and despite having represented the more pragmatic and less ideological face of the BJP during the electoral campaign, remained one of the most convinced advocates of the importance of a recovery of Hindu culture both as a factor of national identity in relation to Westernizing tendencies (position synthetically expressed by one of its most popular slogans: “India must be built by the Indians”), and as a recognition of its preeminence over other cultures and other religions. Political choices and government statements appeared right from the beginning characterized by strong nationalistic accents and by a foreign policy with aggressive and declamatory tones, which reaffirmed the role of India as a regional power and aimed at increasing the consensus on the government’s work. Tension in the area grew immediately and relations with Pakistan, which had always been conflicting, worsened further to the point of breaking, while the military confrontation in Kashmir suffered in the spring-summer 1999 a violent acceleration with more fierce fighting and the involvement of aviation. In an increasingly heated climate, the government resumed nuclear tests (a series of underground explosions) in May after 24 years, sparking a wave of renewed Hindu nationalism, but provoking both the condemnation of public opinion and international diplomacy., is Pakistan’s answer, with just as many nuclear tests. In April 1999, the abandonment of the coalition by the Aiadmk party led to the resignation of the government and the calling of new elections which, held in September-October 1999, marked the victory of the BJP and its allies. The Indian National Congress (I) saw his consensus drop sharply while the representation of regional parties grew further.