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Political Parties In India

The political party plays an essential role in democracy. India is a democratic and federal country where state and central governments are independent in their sphere. In India, people, especially village and small-town people, are very interested in political ideology, and they start rigidly following their ideology. In Indian parliamentarian democracy, political parties play a significant role, and they control the political activity in the country. According to the preamble of India, we, the people of India, give our Constitution to ourselves.

And in India, absolute power is in the hand of the people. They directly involve government decision-making by choosing their candidate in the election. Candidates stand in the election from the political party ideology because if these party is not exiting in the country, then everyone wants to stand in the election, and the condition of anarchy is taken place. So the keep alive the essence of democracy, we need such political parties.

Every party has a different ideology, and they have their everyday objects which their candidate is bound to follow. In so many countries, there is a concept of a two-party or one-party system, the countries like India, Pakistan, Nepal having a multiparty system. At the time of independence, Honorable Prime minister Mr. Nehru wants the opposition to highlight the mistakes of the ruling party. And after that, many regional or national parties evolve. For the time being, we total 58 political parties registered as per the election commission data.

"Without Parties, An Electorate Would Be Either Important Or Destructive By Embarking On Impossible Policies That Would Only Week The Political Machine"
"A political party is a collection of people who vote in elections. The multiparty system is being phased out of Indian democracy. A political party is defined as an association or body of individual citizens of India registered with the commission as a political party under section 29A of the People's Representation Act 1951. Political parties are unquestionably one of a democracy's most visible institutions. For most regular folks, democracy is synonymous with political parties.

Assume you travel to rural areas of our country and speak with less educated folks. You may come into people who are uninformed of our Constitution or the nature of our government in this situation. On the other hand, our political parties are likely to be familiar to them. Visibility, on the other hand, does not indicate acceptance. Political parties are held in high respect by the majority of people. They are prone to blaming political parties for all of our democracy's and political life's ills.

Political parties have become associated with social and political divides. As a result, it's understandable to question if political parties are required. Only a few countries globally had political parties around a hundred years ago. There are relatively few people these days who do not host a party. Why have political parties spread so widely throughout the world's democracies? Let's define political parties and what they do before we understand why we need them".

A political party is a group of people who run for office and keep the government in power. They agree on policies and plans for society that will benefit everyone. Because different people have different beliefs about what is good for them, all parties try to convince people that their policies are better than others.

They want to put these ideas into action by winning popular support in elections. As a result, political parties symbolize the fundamental political differences in society. Because they are about a portion of the community, parties entail PARTISANSHIP. As a result, the identity of a political party is decided by the faction it represents, the policies it supports, and the interests it defends.

Literature Review
Frederick Whyte, (Political Evolution in India, 4 FOREIGN AFF. 223 1926)[1] In this article author put particular focus on how politics evolve in India. It divided into so many faces developing from 1919 the government of India act, During the second world war and Just before the independence and after the independence and how Britishers evolved the parliamentary system and developed a multi-party strategy after seeing variety in the society, language, religion and others factors.

"Bruce Bueno de Mesquita( Redistricting and Political Integration in India, 11 COMP. POL. Stud. 279 1978)[2] In this article, the author discusses that, In general, political integration is seen as a necessary initial step toward political integration progress and national union. Students of Indian politics have long disputed whether the Congress Party's efforts to unite India's heterogeneous populace into a single, unified national framework were successful or not.

Some argue that India as it currently exists is a mash-up of disparate cultural, linguistic, and religious groupings that will break apart as the subcontinent "balkanizes." Others argue that the Indian Union's capacity to endure four wars, multiple internal reorganizations, and the rigors of a barely surviving economy demonstrates its strength and cohesiveness, particularly its ability to survive as a politically connected nation"

Myron Weiner, India's Political Future, 12 WORLD POL. 103 (1959)[3]. In this article, the author discusses the future of Indian politics. The research shows no inter-party deplane followed by our Indian national or regional political parties. Our political system is full of unclarity and nondeceplianery organizations in which corruption is at its peak, and that is why a large part of our resources waste on elections.

"Uzma Burki, (Regional Political Parties in India: Akali-Dal and DMK-AIADMK, 14 Fletcher F. World. 128 1990). [4]In this article author briefly discuss the countermeasures and methods adopted by the regional parties after the independence to growth in different areas throughout the countries When India became independent from Great Britain in 1947, its leaders were faced with the formidable task of forging a modern, united republic from a population that was divided by linguistic, ethnic, and religious differences, compounded by ancient caste and class systems.

The Indian constitution, enacted in 1949, established a federal government, which ensured central authority while guaranteeing the expression of individual interest group sentiments. Such local interests have come to be articulated and defended by regional political parties. In examining two of the most successful regional parties, Uzma Burki uncovers the complexities and contradictions of Indian politics.

She concludes that despite the ability of regional parties to challenge central authority, both the structure and flexibility of India's federal government protect the integrity of the Indian union. Her analysis illustrates the flexibility of political systems which evolve continuously in response to culture and tradition".

"Iva Bozovic, Political Parties, Business Groups and Corruption in Developing Countries, 45 COMP. POL. Stud. 1059 (2012). In this article, the author reviews the book (Yadav, V (2011). Political Parties, Business Groups, and Corruption in Developing Countries. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press) based on political parties development in developing countries".

Role Of Political Parties In Democracy

Before we analyze the role and framework of Indian political parties, students must understand the importance of political parties in a parliamentary democracy.

Parliamentary democracy is a form of government based on consensus and discussion. On vital policy issues, citizens are likely to disagree. Political parties act as organized outlets for people to express their differing viewpoints peacefully. Conflict of ideas may be replaced by a clash of guns in the absence of organized political parties. A coup d'etat may be the order of the day. Indeed, if political parties do not go, governments will be unstable, and their policies will be confused.

They provide alternate government management teams. They present alternative programs to the public and educate about their benefits and drawbacks. No government becomes autocratic or abuses its power if political parties leave. When the opposition wields cudgels to reveal the flaws in the ill-conceived legislation, parliamentary dictatorship is also limited.

The party combats the masses' apathy and indifference to the issues that affect them the most. They make voters aware of their rights and instill a sense of regional or national pride. Election campaigns are primarily educational. Bryce said that "The party strife is sort of education for those willing to receive instruction and something soaks through even into the less interested or thoughtful electors. The Parties keep nations mind alive as the rise and fall of the sweeping tide freshens the water of long ocean inlets".

This is especially true in parliamentary democracy. Political parties keep the public informed and watchful about current government operations.

India's population continues to grow, and as a result, the number of electorates grows each time the country has general elections. As a result, political parties play an essential role in facilitating elections. Before the election, the candidates are nominated by their respective political parties. It enables voters to understand the value of individual candidates and the programs of various political parties well before the elections. Furthermore, political parties allow even a poor but deserving candidate to run for office because the party funding and organization assist him.

Political parties, without a doubt, are the essence of democracy. A significant number of critics have leveled harsh remarks about political parties, owing to various flaws in human nature. The importance of political parties created on ideological grounds cannot be overstated by proponents of partyless democracy or advocates of a classless and stateless society.

We might agree with Bryce, who remarked, shall there then always be parties in his concluding remarks on the alternative to political parties. No one has yet demonstrated how such governments could function without them. It is worth noting that the founding fathers of the United States of America, who were adamantly opposed to the mere concept of political parties, witnessed the emergence of political parties in their lifetime. Political parties arose in the United States due to it, which was a new legal development.

Similarly, in the United Kingdom, the birthplace of parliamentary democracy, the party system has proven to be a boon to the workings of England's unwritten constitution. The English opposition was granted official legitimacy because it was deemed necessary for the efficient functioning of the government. The opposition leader was elevated to cabinet status. "The Prime Minister of England knows more about the opposition leader than his wife," it is reported. Because of its illustrious party structure, British democracy is regarded as a model parliamentary democracy.

Because of the growing importance of political parties, the latter was thought to be synonymous with democracy. "Democracy without political parties is like a ship without a pilot or a boat without a rudder," Nehru said.

A Political Parties Of India (A Brief Background)

India yearned for parliamentary democracy, as did the Congress and the Muslim League. We lacked a long history of well-developed political parties. Sarvajanik Sabha, Poona Mahajan Sabha, Madras Association, Calcutta, etc., were the earliest forms of people's organization in India. The founding of the Congress in 1885 resulted in the formation of the first "all India organization," which served as an unofficial parliament of Indians rather than a political party in its early stages.

In the beginning, it elicited sympathies from the rulers. However, the British agreement quickly felt that the enlightened element of Indians had solidified their ranks to rock the citadel of British bureaucracy and eventually topple it down due to its unequivocal criticism of the imperialists and desire for swaraj. As a result, they devised a natives-against-natives counterpoise. Specific vested interests and a small group of Muslims led by Sir Sayyed Ahamed Khan were persuaded that a rival congress organization was necessary.

The "All India Muslim League" was founded in 1906 to the Muslims' growing resistance to Congress. Calling the Muslim League Party a political party is a misnomer because it was a community organization.

National Party

A national party has one that at least four states have recognized by at least four states. One of the following conditions must be met to order to gain recognition in a form:
  1. It must have been involved in political activities for five years in a row.
  2. It must have received at least 4% of the vote in the most recent general election or state assembly election, whichever comes first.
  3. It should have received one Lok Sabha seat for every 25 Lok Sabha seats, or one MLA for every 30 MLA in the state assembly, in the Lok Sabha elections.

Difference Between National Party Or Regional Party

  1. The National Party has swayed opinions across the country and in many Indian states. A regional party's power is restricted to a single shape or a few areas.
  2. The National Party is concerned with national issues, whereas the Regional Party is exclusively concerned with regional issues. The DMK, for example, claims to be the sole keeper of Dravidian culture. Promoting Indian culture is a priority for both Congress and the BJP. Certain items have to be dropped by the BJP.
  3. Regional parties want their state to have more power and autonomy. The national parties reconcile competing regional interests and refuse to give in to the demand if it jeopardizes national integrity and imperils sovereignty.
  4. An exclusive symbol for a national party is reserved. A regional party is given a character in the state where it is recognized.

Regional Parties

Regionalism is eating into the very vitals of Indian democracy. Hemson and Douglas hold, " regionalism in India is a highly complicated phenomenon for within every region however defined, there are sub-regions. These have given birth to political parties, more parochial in their affiliations than state-wide parties. Since the dawn of the era of hung parliaments and fractured mandates in the Indian political scenario, the regional parties have provided crutches to national parties to rule over the country.

Need Of Healthy Opposition In India

Opposition is the term that means that oppose something. We know that our democracy is a parliamentary form of governance in which a political party has a roadmap to run the government[5]. India's opposition is neither sound nor realistic; it does not have so much courage to challenge the ruling party in India.

The opposition in India usually makes allegations only, and in return for that allegation, the ruling party makes responsible opposition to that mistake. Opposition in India, like a jumble of disparate legally and through ideology, is wrong. The ninety seventy means abuse of power also exists today in governance.

The position of opposition is the same as that time, not too strong to oppose the government. Many political parties lack the political prudence that a democratic party should have. In India's politics, culture is the same as developed by Britishers. Like divide and rule, most parties may benefit majority groups and keep those groups on their side in India. In India, most parties do not have distinct ideologies, and people who believe in whatever ideology party then start to follow them.

Overall, we find these unexpected bedfellows congregating together due to a spirit of antagonism to the majority group. At the time of independence, India did not have a strong opposition because congress was registered before the freedom, and they played a crucial role in Indian Independence.

After the independence, Mr. Nehru was prime minister till 12 years after that, so many other leaders who were part of Indian independence were in power. Hence, approximately 30 years from freedom[6], we do not have recognized opposition. Indira Gandhi first imposed an emergency. After that, the opposition emerged in India and took the constitutional post through elections.

We are a parliamentary form of government in which only in parliament the leader of the opposition takes place, or any committee under the parliament business includes the opposition leader.

"At that time, a senior leader of congress of the Bombay Pradesh congress committee stated that congress should not have an overwhelming majority in the legislature because they engage in mutual recrimination and fights in the lack of opposition. The ruling party's most shocking disaster in state legislatures, and a significant setback in the Lok Sabha elections in 1967, led to its split in 1969.

As a result, the creation of two roles of the congress can be pretty linked to the congressmen's mutual squabbling for power and the constriction of internal democracy inside the party structure. Mass defections from the Congress to other parties and the consequent toppling of some of its state ministries, desertions and counter-desertions in opposition fronts, the frequent fall of Congress ministries in the states, and later, fall of Congress ministries in the states, and change of leadership in many forms of the country, clearly reflect that our parliamentary democracy is suffering from a lack of good opposition and a disciplined ruling party'.

How To Form A Political Parties In India [7]

"Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, governs the registration of political parties. A party seeking registration with the Commission under the said section must apply to the Commission within 30 days of its formation, following the guidelines established by the Commission in exercising the powers conferred by Article 324 of the Indian Constitution and Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

According to existing guidelines, the applicant association must, among other things, publish the proposed name of the party in two national daily newspapers and two local daily newspapers on two consecutive days, giving the public two days to file any objections to the proposed registration of the party with the Commission. As a result of such publication, The published notice is also available on the Commission's website".

"According to the Commission, the General Elections for the Legislative Assemblies of West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Puducherry will be held on the due date. It has been brought to the Commission's attention that, due to the current limits imposed by Covid-19, there was a disruption and delay in forwarding registration applications, which resulted in a delay in registering as a political party. As a result, after carefully considering all factors, the Commission has granted relief and reduced the notice time from 30 to 7 days for parties that issued their public notice on or before the date decided by the election commission of India.

All parties, including those who have previously given the public Notice in less than 24 hours.

The Election Commission does not require every organization to be registered. Only an association or group of Indian people claiming to be a political party and wanting to use the provisions of Part IV-A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (related to the registration of political parties) must register with the Election Commission India."

"In the case of assignment of free symbols, candidates affiliated with a political party registered with the Election Commission of India shall be given priority over fully independent candidates[8]. In addition, registered political parties can be recognized as a 'State Party' or a 'National Party' over time if they meet the standards set out by the Commission in the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order 1968, as revised from time to time.

If a party is recognized as a 'State Party,' it is entitled to exclusive allotment of its reserved symbol to the candidates it establishes in the State or States in which it is recognized. If a party is recognized as a 'National Party,' it is entitled to exclusive allotment of its reserved symbol to the candidates it establishes in the State or States in which it is recognized allocation of its reserved symbol to the candidates it establishes across India Recognized "State" and "National" parties require only one proposer to file a nomination and are entitled to two free sets of electoral rolls as well as broadcast/telecast privileges on Akashvani / Doordarshan during general elections"

  1. Frederick Whyte, Political Evolution in India, 4 FOREIGN AFF. 223 (1926).
  2. Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Redistricting and Political Integration in India, 11 COMP. POL. Stud. 279 (1978)
  3. Myron Weiner, India's Political Future, 12 WORLD POL. 103 (1959)
  4. Uzma Burki, Regional Political Parties in India: Akali-Dal and DMK-AIADMK, 14 FLETCHER F. WORLD AFF. 128 (1990)
Written By: Anuj, Advocate, LLM, KIIT School of Law

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