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Political Parties

[1]Political party, a group of persons organized to acquire and exercise political power. Political parties originated in their modern form in Europe and the United States in the 19th century, along with the electoral and parliamentary systems, whose development reflects the evolution of parties. The term party has since come to be applied to all organized groups seeking political power, whether by democratic elections or by revolution.

In General:

A political party is defined as an organised group of people with at least roughly similar political aims and opinions,that seeks to influence public policy by getting its candidates elected to public office.

According To Gilchrist:

He defines political party as:
an organised group of citizens who profess or share the same political views and who by acting as a political unit, try to control the government.

According To Gettell:

He says:
A political party consist of a group of citizens, more or less organised, who act as a political unit and who, by the use of their voting power, aim to control the government and carry out their general policies.

Basic Functions
[2]Political parties perform key tasks in a democratic society, such as:
  • Soliciting and articulating public policy priorities and civic needs and problems as identified by members and supporters
  • Socialising and educating voters and citizens in the functioning of the political and electoral system and the generation of general political values
    balancing opposing demands and converting them into general policies
  • Activating and mobilising citizens into participating in political decisions and transforming their opinions into viable policy options
  • Channelling public opinion from citizens to government.

National Parties
  1. Meaning:
    [3]There are some countrywide parties, which are called national parties. These parties have their units in various states. But by and large all these units follow the same policies, programmes and strategy that is decided at the national level. We have 8 national political parties.

  2. Eligibility Criteria:
    [4]A registered party is recognised as a National Party only if it fulfils any one of the following three conditions:
    1. The party wins 2 per cent of the seats in the Lok Sabha (as of 2014, 11 seats) from at least 3 different States; or
    2. At a General Election to Lok Sabha or Legislative Assembly, the party polls 6% of votes in four States and in addition it wins 4 Lok Sabha seats from any state or states; or
    3. A party gets recognition as State Party in four or more States.

  3. As per the latest publication from Election Commission of India, there are a total number of 8 political parties in India:
    • Indian National Congress
    • Bharatiya Janata Party
    • BahujanSamaj Party
    • Communist Party of India-Marxist
    • Communist Party of India
    • Nationalist Congress Party
    • All India Trinamool Congress
    • National People's Party.

      In this project I will discuss about 5 National Parties. They are:
      • All India Trinamool Congress
      • BahujanSamaj Party
      • National People's Party
      • Indian National Congress
      • Bharatiya Janata Party

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP):

[5]The BJP's origins lie in the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, popularly known as the Jana Sangh, founded by Syama Prasad Mukherjee in 1951 in response to the politics of the dominant Congress party. It was founded in collaboration with the Hindu nationalist volunteer organisation, the RashtriyaSwayamsevakSangh (RSS), and was widely regarded as the political arm of the RSS.

Election Symbol And It's Significance:
[6]The Election Symbol of the BJP, as approved by the Election Commission of India, is the Lotus. The Lotus is the national flower of India. The BJP election symbol therefore has many prominent representations. Firstly, the symbol is used to indicate a national identity that the BJP strongly upholds.In other words, the BJP is adherent to cultural values of India.

Eminent Leaders:
  • Narendra Modi: ex-chief minister of Gujarat, present Prime Minister of India.
  • Atal Bihari Vajpayee: Founder
  • L.K. Advani: Senior leader of BJP
  • Rajnath Singh: ex-president of BJP, currently the Union minister of home affairs
  • Nitin Gadkari: ex-president of BJP, present transport minister
  • Sushma Swaraj: ex chief minister of Delhi- current minister in external affairs
  • Arun Jaitley - ex-minister of finance and information and broadcasting

Indian National Congress(Inc):

[7]Retired British Indian Civil Service (ICS) officer Allan Octavian Hume founded the Indian National Congress (A political party of India (British India to Free India)) in order to form a platform for civil and political dialogue among educated Indians. After the Indian Rebellion of 1857, control of India was transferred from the East India Company to the British Empire. British-controlled India, known as the British Raj, or just the Raj, worked to try to support and justify its governance of India with the aid of English-educated Indians, who tended to be more familiar with and friendly to British culture and political thinking.

Election Symbol And It's Significance:
[8]The Election Symbol of the Congress party, as approved by the Election Commission of India, is the right hand, with its palm-side facing front. It is usually seen in the centre of an Indian flag, which forms its background.

The fingers of the hand are pressed together. This election symbol is significant as it was selected bythe Indira Gandhi-led Congress. The Congress, according to its symbol, works in unity with the members and the masses, thereby forming a strongparty.

Eminent Leaders:
  1. Sonia Gandhi:-The Parliamentary Chairperson And Current President Of Inc.
  2. Allan Octavuan Hume:-The Founder Of Inc.
  3. Adhir Ranjan Choudhary:-Lok Sabha Leader
  4. Ghulam Nabi Azad:-The Rajya Sabha Leader
  5. Rajiv Gandhi:-Ex-President Of Inc
    • Student Wing: National Student Union Of India
    • Youth Wing: Indian Youth Congress
    • Women's Wing: All India Manila Congress
    • Labour Wing: Indian National Trade Union Congress

Bahujan Samaj Party:

[9]BahujanSamaj Party (BSP), English Majority People's Party, national political party in India. It was formed in 1984. The BSP states that it represents the people at the lowest levels of the Hindu social system those officially designated as members of the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Classes as well as other religious and social minorities. The core support group of the BSP consists primarily of the Dalits (Scheduled Castes, formerly called untouchables).

Election Symbol And It's Significance:
[10]The Election Symbol of the BSP, as approved by the Election Commission of India, is an 'Elephant' which is facing left. There is an immense significance attached to the symbol used by the BSP. An elephant symbolizes physical strength and will-power. It is a giant animal and is usually very peaceful. This inherent meaning is applied to mean the huge population of the 'BahujanSamaj' or the down-trodden sections of the society. It is not only a very large section of the society, but the lower-caste and minority sections.

Eminent Leaders:
  1. Mayawati: The National president.
  2. Satish Chandra Mishra: All-India General Secretary. Satish Mishra was a part of the Cabinet of the Mayawati Government in Uttar Pradesh. He was also a member of the Parliamentary Forum on Youth and Joint Parliamentary Committee on Wakf.
  3. Dr.Suresh Mane: National-General Secretary. Dr. Mane looks after the welfare of the workers of the party. He is the President of the Mumbai Port Trust SC, ST and OBC Employee's Welfare Association. He is the Founder President of the Bahujan Municipal Kamgar Union.
Seats In Lok Sabha-10 Our Of 543
Seats In Rajya Sabha-2 Out Of 245
The BSP has its main base in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

National People's Party:

In January 2013, P. A. Sangma launched the party on the national level. He announced that his party would be in alliance with the National Democratic Alliance led by BharatiyaJanta Party. Sangma also reiterated that though the membership of the party is open to all, it shall be a tribalcentric party.[11]

Election Symbol And It's Significance:
Its election symbol,as approved by the election commission is a book.[12]The significance for the same is that the party believes that only literacy and education can empower the weaker sections.They believe in the literacy of the majority of the people can promote equality in nation and a empower the weaker sections of the society.Hence,this is the significance of their election symbol.

Eminent Leaders:
  1. PA Sangma: The Founder Of NPP
  2. Conrad Sangma: The President Of NPP
  3. Agatha Sangma: Lok Sabha Leader
  4. Wanweiry Kharlukhi: Rajya Sabha Leader
Seats In Lok Sabha:-1 out of 543
Seats In Rajya Sabha:-1 out of 245

The influence of National People's Party is mainly concentrated in the state of Meghalaya.
It has 21 out of 60 seats in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.

All India Trinamool Congress:

Founded in January 1998 by Mamata Banerjee, the All India Trinamool Congress (AITMC), popularly called the Trinamool Congress or AITMC, is a National political party. It has formed the present government in the 2011 Vidhan Sabha elections in the state of West Bengal, after defeating the 34-year rule of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPIM. The AITMC which is a breakaway faction of the Indian National Congress, has a centre-left political position with political ideologies of secularism and populism.

Election Symbol And It's Significance:
The Election Symbol of the AITMC, as approved by the Election Commission of India, is the "twin flowers in grass". This exclusive symbol is famously called by the term JoraGhasPhul (meaning grass and two flowers) in West Bengal. The symbol has all the colours of the Indian flag and its political slogan of Ma MaatiManush (Mother Motherland and People) highlights its significance. The AITMC symbol of the flowers and grass represents the essence of our nation, of the motherhood or the country. The maati' or motherland here signifies mother or Ma.

Eminent Leaders:
  1. Mamata Banerjee: President of All India Trinamool Congress Banerjee is the current Chief Minister of West Bengal.
  2. Mukul Roy: Leader of the Party in Rajya Sabha
    Roy is the ex-Minister of Railways in the UPA regime. He remained in that portfolio till July 2011. Roy is the General Secretary of the AITMC. He now represents West Bengal in the Upper House of Parliament.
  3. Sudip Bandyopadhyay: Leader of the Party in Lok Sabha
    Bandyopadhyay is the chief spokesperson of the Trinamool Congress in the 15th Lok Sabha, representing North Kolkata.
  4. Partha Chatterjee: Leader of the Party in the Legislative Assembly of West Bengal
    Chatterjee is the Deputy Leader of the Vidhan Sabha in 2011. He is also the General Secretary of the West Bengal Pradesh Trinamool Congress Committee.
  5. Kanwar Deep Singh: Party Head in North India
    Singh is a member of the Rajya Sabha. He is also the President of the Indian Hockey Federation.

Regional Parties
  1. Meaning:
    Regional parties are parties whose main holds are in one certain state and mostly they participate in the elections only within that state. Most of these regional parties have agenda fitting certain culture dominant within that state. Some of these regional parties also participate in neighboring states, which have constituencies with culture similar to the first state. Different state parties were established at different periods because of different reasons. Some even have origins prior to India's independence.[13]

  2. Eligibility Criteria:
    A party has to fulfill any of the following conditions for recognition as a state party[14]:
    1. A party should secure at least 6% of valid votes polled in an election and win at least 2 seats in a state assembly and 1 seat in Lok Sabha.
    2. A party should win minimum three percent of the total number of seats or a minimum of three seats in the Legislative Assembly.
    3. A party should win at least one seat in the Lok Sabha for every 25 seats or any fraction thereof allotted to that State.
    4. Under the liberalised criteria, one more clause that it will be eligible for recognition as state party if it secures 8% or more of the total valid votes polled in the state.

  3. There are 52 recognised state party or regional parties.Five regional parties which I will discuss in this paper are:
    • Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)
    • Shiv Sena (SHS)
    • All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK)
    • Biju Janta Dal (BJD)
    • All India Forward Bloc (AIFB)

Aam Admi Party (AAP)

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was started by a first-time politician and had no connections with any age-old political party. The founders of the party were a part of the India Against Corruption (IAC) movement led by veteran activist Anna Hazare.The anti-corruption movement saw activists push for the enactment of the Jan Lokpal Bill, which had the provisions for investigation and trial of corruption cases against public servants.[15]

Election Symbol And It's Significance:
Arvind Kejriwal and his party has taken up the daunting task of cleaning the country of corruption. With this motive, the AAP chose the humble broom as its official election symbol. Their slogan Jhaaduchalaao, beimaanbhagaao (wield the broom, get rid of cheats) is aimed at saving the Indian political system from its corrupt politicians. The party is fighting for a more transparent system, which will help the country reclaim its democratic identity.[16]

Eminent Leaders:
  • Arvind Kejriwal: Leader Of AAP
  • Saurabh Bhardwaj & others: Spokesperson
  • Bhagwat Mann: Lok Sabha Leader
  • Sanjay Singh: Rajya Sabha Leader
  • Founder: Arvind Kejriwal and others
The Aam Aadmi Party has it's influence and is the current ruling party of Delhi Legislative Assembly.
  • It has 62 out of 70 seats currently in the Delhi Legislative Assembly.
  • And 1out of 545 seats in Lok Sabha, and
  • 3 out of 245 seats in Rajya Sabha.

ShivSena (SHS):

After the Independence of India in 1947, regional administrative divisions from the colonial era were gradually changed and states following linguistic borders were created. In 1960 Bal Thackeray, a Bombay-based cartoonist, began publishing the satirical cartoon weekly Marmik. Through this publication, he started disseminating anti-migrant sentiments. On 19 June 1966, Thackeray founded the Shiv Sena as a political organisation.[17]

Election Symbol And It's Significance:
The Election Symbol of the Shiv Sena, as approved by the Election Commission of India, is Bow and Arrow. It is usually drawn on a saffron-coloured flag of the party. The use of saffron in the flag is indicative of the strong Hindu nationalist sentiment that the party caters to. Saffron is the colour of Hinduism, as the tilak used in temples and other Hindu religious ceremonies, to smear on the foreheads of devotees, is saffron in colour. Along with it, the distinct use of the bow and arrow as its election symbol, is significant as it depicts what the party stands for.[18]

Eminent Leaders:
  • Uddhav Thackrey: President and Chairperson of Shiv Sena
  • Aditya Thackeray: President of Yuva Sena or youth faction of Shiv Sena:
  • Vinayak Raut: Lok Sabha leader
  • Sanjay Raut: Rajya Sabha Leader
  • Founder: Bal Thackeray
The Shiv Sena Party agitates for preferential treatment for Maharashtra
  • It has 57/288 seats in Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, and
  • Also it has 15/78 seats in Maharashtra Legislative Council.

All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam(AIADMK):

The party was founded in 1972 as Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (ADMK) by M. G. Ramachandran, a veteran Tamil film star and popular politician. It was set up as a breakaway faction of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) led by M. Karunanidhi, then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, owing to differences between the two. Later, MGR prefixed the All India (AI) tag to the party's name[19].

Election Symbol And It's Significance:
The Election Symbol of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam is "two leaves". The symbol is supposed to indicate that Jayalalithaa, lovingly called Amma, is two times the magnificence of other leaders. In other words, Jayalalithaa specifically or any other leader of the AIADMK, will work double for its people, as compared to other leaders or parties. Thus, the people can attest immense faith in the AIADMK and its leader, for the betterment of the state.[20]

Eminent Leaders:
  • Edappadi K. Palaniswami: The current president of AIADMK
  • O.P.Raveendranath Kumar: Lok Sabha Leader
  • A.Navaneethakrishnan: Rajya Sabha Leader
  • M.G. Ramachandran: Founder
AIADMK is an Indian regional political party in the state of Tamil Nadu and in the union territory of Puducherry.
  • It has 125/234 seats in Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly, and
  • It has 4/30 seats in Puducherry Legislative Assembly

Biju Janta Dal:

The BJD was formed in December 1997 by Naveen Patnaik, the son of prominent Odisha politician Bijayananda (Biju) Patnaik in the Janata Dal (JD; People's Party), who had twice served as chief minister (head of government) of the state. Biju Patnaik had died earlier that year, and his son (also a member of the JD) had won a by-election to take over his father's seat in the Lok Sabha (lower chamber of the Indian parliament). Naveen, however, objected to the JD's reluctance to support the coalition that was being assembled by the BJP (it was named the NDA in 1999). With the help of the BJD, the BJP was able to form a government following the 1998 Lok Sabha elections.[21]

Election Symbol And It's Significance:
The Election Symbol of the Biju Janata Dal, as approved by the Election Commission of India, is the conch which is turned right.[22] The Biju Janata Dal has been associated with the symbol from its inception. The conch (shankh in Hindi) symbol is significant as a large number of people identify themselves with it. It even has deep symbolism in the ancient Indian tradition. In mythological traditions, the conch is the emblem of Lord Vishnu, bearing the name 'panchajanya', which means 'having control over the five classes of beings.'

Eminent Leaders:
  • Naveen Patnaik: Current president of BJD and also the current chief minister of Odisha.
  • Pinaki Misra: Lok Sabha Leader
  • Prasanna Acharya: Rajya Sabha leader
  • Founder: Naveen Patnaik
Biju Janta Dal (BJD) is a state political party of the Indian state of Odisha.
It has 112/147 seats in Odisha Legislative Assembly.

All India Forward Bloc (AIFB):

The Forward Bloc of the Indian National Congress was formed on May 3, 1939 by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, who had resigned from the presidency of the Indian National Congress on 29 April after being outmanoeuvered by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The formation of the Forward Bloc was announced to the public at a rally in Calcutta.[23]

Election Symbol And It's Significance:
The Election Symbol of the All India Forward Bloc, as approved by the Election Commission of India, is a Leaping Tiger on a red flag. The Leaping Tiger is symbolic of the strength and determination of the leadership of a statesman like Netaji. Netaji and other members of the AIFB were determined to gain for India its independence from the British, at any cost. National unity was to be achieved through cooperation and consolidation of all sections of the society. Netaji adhered to the idea of giving immense power to the people of India.[24]

Eminent Leaders:
  • Debabrata Biswas: The current Secretary-General
  • N.Velappan Nair: Current chairperson of AIFB
  • Founder: Subhas Chandra Bose
All India Forward Bloc is a left wing nationalist political party in India.It has main stronghold in West Bengal.
  • It has 2/294 seats in West Bengal.
  • It has a student wing known as All India Students Bloc, and
  • It has youth wing known as All India Youth League.
As per the latest publication from the Election Commission of India,the total number of parties registered was 2598,with[25]8 National Parties,52 State Parties and 2538 unrecognized parties. Initially we did had much Parties and also there was a dominance of a single party, but now we have a large number of parties and an equal participation of each parties.Also there had been a lot of changes in the political parties of India. In the earlier years of independence the Indian National Congress dominated the party system.

But the same has not continued and there had been periods of non-Congress governments both at the centre and the States. For many years now, the party system has not been a single -party system. It is now a party dominant system. It is more or less a multiparty system because now the national political parties depend largely on the support of regional political parties to stay in the power at the centre as well as in some states. To conclude we can say because of the presence of large number of political parties or because of the multiparty system there is mark of democracy or a democratic nation.

  1. Maurice Duverger,Political Parties,1999, last accessed 8th September, 2020
  2. Ace The Electrol Knowledge Network, last accessed 8th September,2020
  3. ,last accessed 9th September,2020
  4. Wikipedia,Categories:Recognised National Parties In India, lat accessed 9th September,2020
  5. Wikipedia,Bharatiya Janata Party-History, lat accessed 10th September,2020.
  6.,Bharatiya Janata Party,Election Symbol And Significance last accessed 10th September,2020
  7. Wikipedia,History of Indian National Congress, last accessed 11th September,2020.
  8.,Indian National Congress,Election Symbol and it's significance, ,last accessed 11th September, 2020.
  9. Shanthie Mariet D'Souza,Bahujan Samaj Party,,last accessed 11th September,2020
  10.,Bahujan Samaj Party,, last accessed 12th September,2020
  11. Wikipedia,National People's Party,History,last accessed 11th September,2020.
  12. ibid
  13. Aharon Daniel,Intformation On India-Politics Of India,,last accessed 12th September,2020.
  14. Wikipedia,List Of Politicl Parties In India,, last accessed 12th September,2020
  15.,Aam ADMI Party,,last accessed12th September,2020
  16. ibid
  17. Wikipedia,'Shivsena, last accessed 12th September,2020
  18., Shivsena',, last accessed12th September,2020
  19. Wikipedia,'All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam ,> last accessed 12th September,2020
  20. Elections.In,'All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam,, last accessed 12th September,2020.
  21. Shanthie Mariet D'Souza, 'Biju Janta Dal',(last updated on July 30,2020),, last accessed 12th September,2020
  22. Elections In, 'Biju Janta Dal', last accessed 12th September,2020
  23. Wikipedia, 'All India Forward Bloc',, last accessed 12th September,2020
  24. Elections In, 'All India Forward Bloc',, last accessed 12th September,2020
  25. Election Commission Of India, last accessed 12th September,2020

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