2. A political party is a group of people
who come together to contest elections
and hold power in the government
They agree on some policies and
programmers for the society with a view
to promote the collective good
3. political party has three components
2.The Active Members
3. The Followers
Partisanship: A person
who is strongly
committed to a party,
group or faction.
4. Functions Of Political Parties
Political parties contest elections.
Political parties put forward different policies and
Political parties play a decisive role in making laws for the
Political parties form and run governments.
A party which does not get majority or come under the
majority coalition, needs to play the role of opposition.
Political parties shape public opinion. They do so by
raising and highlighting issues .
Political parties provide people access to government
5. Necessity of Political Parties
◇ Parties act as representatives
for the Public Opinion.
◇ with the help of parties, a
responsible government could
◇ Hence Parties are necessary
Imagine a situation where there is no
party system and all candidates are
This suggests that any candidate can’t
promise the people about major policy
Government will be formed but may
not be useful.
Any elected candidate will be
answerable within its political area
hence no one will care about the nation.
6. How Many Parties should we have?
Any citizen of democratic nation is free to
form a political party.
Thus there are large number of political
parties in democratic nation.
In India more than 750 parties are
registered with election commission of
There are only few big parties which race
to win election and form government.
7. There are three kinds of party systems.
1. One Party System
2. Two Party System
3. Multi Party System
8. One Party system
◇ In a country if only single party is allowed to form
government then it is called One-Party System.
◇ E.g. In China only Communist Party is allowed to form
◇ Other parties could not exist because china did not permit
free competition for power.
◇ One-party system is not a good option because it is not a
◇ Democracy suggest there should be at list two parties
that compete in election to come to power.
9. Two-Party System
In some countries the government is usually established
by any one of the two big parties which win the election.
There are other parties but they get only few seats. Such
party system is called two party system.
e.g. In United States of America and United Kingdom
the party system are Two-party system.
10. Multi-Party System
◇ There are countries where there are more than two
parties which have capability to win the election either
by their own strength or by taking support of other
parties called as Multi-Party system.
◇ e.g. India is a multiparty system. Often in a multiparty
system several parties unite to win the election then
it is called alliance or a front.
◇ e.g. In India such alliance are National Democratic
Alliance (NDA), the United Progressive Alliance
(UPA), the Left Front.
◇ Problems in this system are political instability, but the
advantage is it allows multiple interests and opinions
to be represented politically.
11. National Parties
Every party in the country has to register with the Election
Commission. It offers some special facilities for large and
established parties. The Election Commission has laid down
detailed criteria of the proportion of votes and seats that a
party must get in order to be a recognized party.
A party that secures at least 6% of the total votes in an
election to the Legislative Assembly of a State and wins at
least 2 seats is recognized as a State Party.
A party that secures at least 6% of the total votes in Lok
Sabha elections or Assembly elections in 4 States and wins
at least 4 seats in the Lok Sabha is recognized as
a National Party.
12. Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP)
BJP is founded in 1980 by reviving the old Bhartiya Jana Sangh.
This party aims to build modern India by taking inspirations from
India’s ancient culture and values.
This party is based on Hindutva and want uniform civil code i.e.
uniformity of laws for every citizen of India irrespective of community
to which the individual belongs.
The party wanted no special status of Jammu and Kashmir but wanted
full territorial and political integration in India.
The party is currently leading National Democratic Alliance (NDA). An
alliance is a group of parties that come together to win the election.
Some other members of NDA include Shiv Sena, Telugu Desam Party,
Lok Jan Shakti Party, Shiromani Akali Dal, Rastriya Lok Samata Party,
Apna Dal, Naga People’s Front, National People’s Party and many
13. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)
Formed in 1984 under the leadership of Kanshi Ram.
Seeks to represent and secure power for the Bahujan
samaj which includes the Dalits, Adivasis, OBCs and
Stands for the cause of securing the interests and
welfare of the Dalits and oppressed people.
It has its main base in the state of Uttar Pradesh and
substantial presence in neighboring states like Madhya
Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Delhi and Punjab.
Formed government in UP several times by taking the
support of different parties at different times.
14. Indian National Congress (INC)
It is popularly known as Congress Party
It was founded in 1885.
After Independence it was the party that ruled India for several
decades at national and state levels. The party ruled from
Independence to 1971 and then from 1980 to 1989. In 2004
this party emerged as largest party by winning 145 seats. It
also ruled from 2004 to 2014.
Congress Party with the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru tried
to bring secularism in India.
It aims towards cutting social divisions, bringing secularism
and work for the welfare of peoples of lower sections and
The party supports new economic improvements keeping the
15. All India Trinamool Congress
Launched on 1 January 1998 under the leadership of
Recognized as a national party in 2016.
The party’s symbol is flowers and grass.
Committed to secularism and federalism.
Has been in power in West Bengal since 2011 and has a
presence in Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Tripura.
In the General Elections held in 2014, it got 3.84% votes
and won 34 seats, making it the fourth-largest party in
the Lok Sabha.
16. Communist Party of India (CPI)
◇ Formed in 1925. Believes in Marxism-Leninism,
secularism and democracy.
◇ Opposed to the forces of secessionism and
◇ Accepts parliamentary democracy as a means of
promoting the interests of the working class,
farmers and the poor.
◇ Significant presence in the states of Kerala, West
Bengal, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
◇ It secured less than 1 per cent votes and 1 seat in
the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
17. Communist Party of India – Marxist (CPI-M)
Founded in 1964. Believes in Marxism-Leninism.
Supports socialism, secularism and democracy and
opposes imperialism and communalism.
Accepts democratic elections as a useful and helpful
means for securing the objective of socio-economic
justice in India.
Enjoys strong support in West Bengal, Kerala and
The party was in power in West Bengal without a break
for 34 years.
18. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)
◇ Formed in 1999 following a split in the Congress party.
◇ Supports democracy, Gandhian secularism, equity,
social justice and federalism.
◇ A major party in Maharashtra and has a significant
presence in Meghalaya, Manipur and Assam.
◇ A coalition partner in the state of Maharashtra in
alliance with the Congress. Since 2004, a member of
the United Progressive Alliance.
19. State Parties
The Election Commission has classified some of the
major parties of the country as “State parties”. These
are also referred to as regional parties.
21. Challenges to Political Parties
Lack of internal democracy within parties. Parties do not keep
membership registers, do not hold organisational meetings, and do not
conduct internal elections regularly.
Most political parties do not practice open and transparent procedures
for their functioning, so there are very few ways for an ordinary worker to
rise to the top in a party. In many parties, the top positions are always
controlled by members of one family.
The third challenge is about the growing role of money and muscle
power in parties, especially during elections. Since parties are focused
only on winning elections, they tend to use short-cuts to win elections. In
some cases, parties support criminals who can win elections.
People do not find parties to be a meaningful choice for their votes.
Sometimes people cannot even elect very different leaders either,
because the same set of leaders keep shifting from one party to another.
22. How Can Parties be reformed?
Let us look at some of the recent efforts and suggestions in our country to reform
political parties and its leaders:
I) The Constitution was amended to prevent elected MLAs and MPs from
changing parties. This was done because many elected representatives were
indulging in DEFECTION in order to become ministers or for cash rewards.
II) The Supreme Court passed an order to reduce the influence of money and
III) The Election Commission passed an order making it necessary for political
parties to hold their organizational elections and file their income tax returns.
23. Besides these, many suggestions are often made to reform political
I) A law should be made to regulate the internal affairs of political
parties. It should be made compulsory for political parties to maintain
a register of its members.
II) It should be made mandatory for political parties to give a minimum
number of tickets, about one-third, to women candidates.
III) There should be state funding of elections. The government should
give parties money to support their elections expenses.
2. These suggestions have not yet been accepted by political parties.
3. There are two other ways in which political parties can be reformed.
4. One, people can put pressure on political parties. This can be done
through petition, publicity, and agitation.