Political Parties in India

 

 

  • Political parties are voluntary associations or organized groups of individuals.
  • They share the same political views and try to gain political power through constitutional means
  • They must desire to work for promoting the national interest.
  • There are 4 types of political parties in the modern democratic states
    • Reactionary parties which cling to the old socio-economic and political institutions
    • Conservative parties which believe in the status-quo
    • Liberal parties which aim at reforming the existing institutions
    • Radical parties which aim at establishing a new order by overthrowing the existing institutions
  • Classification of political parties on the basis of ideologies
    • Radical parties on the left
    • Liberal parties in the centre
    • Reactionary and conservative parties on the right
  • In India, the CPI and CPM are the examples of leftist parties, Congress of centrist parties and the BJP is an example of rightist parties.
  • There are 3 kinds of party systems in the world
    • One party system – only one ruling party exists and no opposition is permitted, Ex – China
    • Two-party system in which two major parties exists, Ex – USA and Britain
    • Multi-party system, Ex – India, France, Switzerland

 

 

Multi-Party System in India

  • Reasons for large number of political parties
    • Continental size of the country
    • Diversified character of Indian society
    • Adoption of universal adult franchise
    • Peculiar type of political process
  • India has the largest number of political parties in the world.
  • On the eve of 17th Lok Sabha general elections (2019), there were
    • 7 national parties
    • 48 states parties
    • 1593 registered – unrecognized parties in the country
  • The number of recognized parties keeps on changing on the basis of their performance in the general elections.
  • The national parties and state parties are also known as all-India parties and regional parties respectively.

 

 

Recognition of National & State Parties

  • Election Commission registers political parties for the purpose of elections.
  • EC grants them recognition as national or state parties on the basis of their poll performance.
  • The other parties are simply declared as registered unrecognized parties.
  • Recognized parties have certain privileges like
    • Allocation of the party symbols
    • Access to electoral rolls
    • Time for political broadcasts on the state-owned television and radio stations
    • Need only one proposer for filing the nomination
    • 40 “star campaigners” during the time of elections
  • The registered–unrecognized parties are allowed to have 20 “star campaigners”
  • The travel expenses of these star campaigners are not included in the election expenditure of the candidates of their parties.
  • Each national party is allotted a symbol exclusively reserved for its use throughout the country.
  • Every state party is allotted a symbol exclusively reserved for its use in the state or states
  • A registered-unrecognized party, on the other hand, can select a symbol from a list of free symbols.

 

 

Conditions for Recognition as a National Party

  • National party, need to fulfill one of the flowing conditions
    • 6% votes in any 4 or more states at Lok Sabha or legislative assembly election, and 4 seats in the Lok Sabha from any state or states
    • If it wins 2% of seats in the Lok Sabha election from 3 or more states
    • If it is recognized as a state party in 4 states

 

 

Conditions for Recognition as a State Party

  • State party, need to fulfill one of the flowing conditions
    • 6% votes in legislative assembly election, and 2 seats in the assembly
    • 6% votes in the state at Lok Sabha election, and 1 seat in the Lok Sabha from the state
    • 3% or 3 seats in legislative assembly election, whichever is more
    • 1 seat for every 25 seats or any fraction allotted to the state at Lok Sabha election 
    • 8% votes in Lok Sabha election from the state or in legislative assembly of the state
  • Last one condition was added in 2011

 

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