Political Parties in India
Political Parties coordinate the elections and have become a significant part of the politics in the country. Some countries have only one political party, but India has a multi-party system with various parties.
Political parties in India possess different dynamic features. However, all these political parties are often structured commonly. The political parties in India are composed of a party leader and a few executives. The leader represents the party and is primarily responsible for overseeing the party's strategies and policies. In contrast, all the party executive works according to the party leader.
Types of Political Parties in India
Political parties are organized groups or voluntary associations of individuals sharing the same political views. These individuals try to gain power as per Constitutional means with the desire to influence and promote national interests.
The four different types of political parties in modern democratic states are as below-
- Radical parties - The Radical parties establish the new order by displacing the existing institutions.
- Liberal parties - They aim to reform and change the existing institutions.
- Conservative parties - These parties believe in the ideology of status-quo.
- Reactional parties - These parties cling to political and socio-economic institutions.
According to the different ideologies, the political parties in India are classified as the following-
- Conservative and reactionary parties on the right. e.g., BJP.
- Liberal parties in the centre, e.g., Congress.
- Radical parties on the left, e.g., CPI and CPM.
Party System in India
The party system in India is divided into these three types-
- One-party system: In this system, only one party has the power to rule. There is no party in the opposition. For example, the Soviet Union.
- Two-party system: In this system, two major parties exist. One of them rules the country while the other exists in the opposition. For example, Democrats and Republicans in the US.
- Multi-party system: In this system, various parties form the government, either separately or by a coalition. For example, Switzerland, France, and India.
Features of Party System in India
Here are the salient features of the party system in India:
- Multi-party System: India is a vast country with many people. There are a lot of political parties in India that are further divided into categories like right parties, centrist and left parties. The coalition governments hung assemblies, and hung parliaments have been static phenomena in Indian politics.
- Lack of Clear Ideology: In India, only three parties work with a clear ideology: BJP, CPM, and CPI. In contrast, the rest lack a clear-cut ideology and possess a similar ideology regarding policies and programs. These parties work on the principles of socialism, secularism, democracy, and Gandhism.
- One-dominant Party Systems: India is a democratic country. Yet, only one party ruled the country for quite a long time after independence. Because of this, an eminent political analyst, Rajni Kothari, called the Party system in India the Congress System or the one-party dominance system.
- Personality Cult: In India, the political parties represented the ideology of their leaders. Thus, the leader or his ideology is of more importance rather than what they put up in their manifesto. For example, Congress became more popular because of Nehru and Gandhi’s significant leadership.
- Based on Traditional Factors: Most political parties in India were formed by the people based on political and socio-economic programmes. In contrast, the rest of the parties are created based on culture, language, caste, or religion. For example, Hindu Maha Sabha, Muslim League, Shiv Sena, etc.
- The Emergence of Regional Parties- There is a growing role of regional parties in India that emerged over the party system. E.g., Akali Dal in Punjab, AIADMK in Tamil Nadu, BJD in Orissa, etc.
- Lack of Effective Opposition- A democracy would not work well without effective opposition. An effective opposition would keep a check on the tendencies of the ruling party that would instead work as an alternative government. Even after years of independence, India lacks in terms of effective opposition.
National Political Parties in India
In India, a political party is recognized as a national party if it fulfills the following criteria-
- A party must have secured a minimum of 6% of the valid vote in a Lok Sabha or an Assembly general elections in four or more states. Out of these 6, it must have won a minimum of 4 seats in an election of the Lok Sabha from a state or states.
- If a party has won 2% of seats in the Lok Sabha and candidates for the party are elected from three or more states.
- If a party is recognized as a state party in more than three states.
List of National Political Parties in India
There are 8 national parties in India positioned as the centre, centre-left, left-wing, and right-wing. Here is the list of national political parties in India, along with their flags and political position:
National Political Party
National People's Party
Nationalist Congress Party
Indian National Congress
Communist Party of India (Marxist)
Communist Party of India
Bharatiya Janata Party
Bahujan Samaj Party
All India Trinamool Congress
State Political Parties in India
The following 5 conditions must be fulfilled by recognized political parties in India to be recognized as a state political party:
- In an election to the state legislative Assembly, the said party must gain at least six percent of the valid votes. Also, the result must be that the particular political party must win at least 2 seats in the assembly.
- At least 6% of the valid votes must be secured by the party in the Lok Sabha election. It must win 1 seat in the Lok Sabha elections.
- A minimum of three seats or at least 3% of the total seats must be won by the Legislative Assembly (the condition depends upon whichever is higher).
- For every 25 seats in the Lok Sabha, the party must win a minimum of 1 seat. The fraction depends upon the number of seats allotted to that state.
- The party should secure 8% or more of the total votes polled in the state.
List of State Political Parties in India
The list of State political parties in India, along with their symbol, is as follows-
State Political Parties
Zoram Nationalist Party
United People's Party Liberal
United Democratic Party
Sikkim Krantikari Morcha
Sikkim Democratic Front
Shiromani Akali Dal
Rashtriya Loktantrik Party
Rashtriya Lok Dal
People's Party of Arunachal
People's Democratic Front
People's Democratic Alliance
Pattali Makkal Katchi
Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party
Mizoram People's Conference
Mizo National Front
Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena
Lok Janshakti Party
Kerala Congress (M)
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha
Jannayak Janta Party
Janta Congress Chhattisgarh
Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party
Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party
Jammu & Kashmir National Conference
Indigenous People's Front of Tripura
Indian Union Muslim League
Indian National Lok Dal
Hill State People's Democratic Party
Goa Forward Party
Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam
Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) Liberation
Bodoland People's Front
Biju Janata Dal
Asom Gana Parishad
All Jharkhand Students Union
All India United Democratic Front
All India N.R. Congress
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen
All India Forward Bloc
Bharat Rashtra Samithi
Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party
Telugu Desam Party
Revolutionary Socialist Party
Rashtriya Janata Dal
Naga People's Front
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
Janata Dal (United)
Janata Dal (Secular)
Aam Aadmi Party
Unrecognized Political Parties in India
The list of unrecognised political parties in India is as under:
Revolutionary Goans Party
Lok Insaaf Party
YSR Telangana Party
Vikassheel Insaan Party
Goa Suraksha Manch
The Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance
Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi
Apna Dal (Sonelal)
Indian Secular Front
Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohiya)
Hindustani Awam Morcha
Rashtriya Jan Jan Party
Makkal Needhi Maiam
Jan Shakti Party of India
Loktantrik Janata Dal
Jan Adhikar Party Loktantrik
Jansatta Dal Loktantrik
All India Hindustan Congress Party
Jammu and Kashmir Workers Party
Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazagam
Param Digvijay Dal
Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party
All India Mahila Empowerment Party
Jana Sena Party
Punjab Ekta Party
Kongunadu Makkal Desia Katchi
Indian Gandhiyan Party
Bahujan Mukti Party
Welfare Party of India
Socialist Party (India)
Samajwadi Janata Dal Democratic
Quami Ekta Dal
Indhiya Jananayaga Katchi
Naam Tamilar Katchi
Social Democratic Party of India
Manithaneya Makkal Katchi
Rashtriya Ulama Council
Peace Party of India
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha
Lok Satta Party
Rashtriya Samaj Paksha
Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party
Tamil Nadu Kongu Ilaingar Peravai
People's Democratic Front
Kongunadu Makkal Katchi
Tamil Manila Congress
Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar)
Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
Kerala Congress (Jacob)
Gondwana Ganatantra Party
Kerala Congress (B)
Bharatiya Minorities Suraksha Mahasangh
Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi
Uttarakhand Kranti Dal
Manipur Peoples Party
United Goans Party
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