(i) Congress had won the maximum number of seats in the Lok Sabha elections of 1984. The rising tide of sentiments on the assassination of Indira Gandhi enabled them to have such a huge victory. They won 415 seats in the Lok Sabha. This was under the leadership of Rajiv Gandhi – the son of Indira Gandhi – who later was appointed as the Prime Minister of the country.
(ii) The most controversial decision taken by the National Front government in 1990 was the implementation of the recommendations of the Mandal Commission. The Commission extended the purview of reservation and that the jobs in central government should be reserved for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs). It recommended reservation of 27 % of seats in educational institutions and government jobs for the OBCs. This led to huge anti-Mandal protests throughout the country.
(iii) The structural adjustment programme, also known as the new economic reforms was started by Rajiv Gandhi. But these economic changes became visible in 1991. The change was completely initiated by the Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao and the then Finance Minister Manmohan Singh. Under these reforms, all the barriers restricting the investment and trade with the economy by the foreign countries were abolished. The license, permit and quota raj came to an end. The economy was liberalised, privatised and globalised. This resulted in more integration of the country with foreign economies.
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