Unit-20 Party System and Elections in India

Unit-20 Party System and Elections in India - UNIT 20...

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UNIT 20 NATIONAL AND REGIONAL PARTIES Structure 20.0 Objectives 20.1 Introduction 20.2 Meanings of a National and a Regional Party 20.3 National Parties 20.3.1 The Congress (I) 20.3.2 The Bharatiya ~anata Party 20.3.3 The Communist Parties 20.3.4 The Bahujan Samaj Party 20.4 The Regional Parties 20.4.1 The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and The All lndia Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) 20.4.2 The Shiromani Akali Dal 20.4.3 The National Conference 20.4.4 The Telugu Desam Party 20.4.5 The Assam Gana Parishad 20.4.6 The Jharkhand Party 20.5 Let Us Sum Up 20.6 Some Useful Books 20.7 Answers to Clieck Your Progress Exercises 20.0 OBJECTIVES 'This unit deals with the national and regional political parties in India. After going through this unit, you will be able to: Know tlie meanings of the regional and national political parties; Understand tlieir ideologies, social bases and the organisational structures; and Their significance in the politics and society of our country. 20.1 INTRODUCTION Political parties play cruciaT role in the functioning of Indian democracy. Democratic systems can not fulictioli in the absence of political parties. They work as link between state and people. Political parties contest elections and aim at capturing political power. They function as a link between people and government in a repre- sentative democracy. If a political party fails to form government, it sits in opposition. The role of the opposition party is to expose the weaknesses of the ruling party in order to strengthen tlie democratic processes. 20.2 MEANINGS OF A NATIONAL AND A REGIONAL PARTY India has a multi-party system. There are both national and regional parties. The Election Commission recognises a party as a national'party, if it f i ~ l f i l s one of the two. \ conditions: (!),it secures 3.33% of votes or seats in electio~is to the le islative assemblies, and (2) it secures 4% of votes or seats in Lok Sabha electionLfour states. The national parties can also be called All lndia parties. Their
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1 policies, ideologies and strategies have a national focus. They have their presence in National and Regional Partie3 most o f the parts o f the country in terms o f maintaining organisatio~lal structures and contesting elections. A regional party is limited to a geographical region which may cover a state or a couple o f states. They come into being to defend and preserve religio-cultural identity o f a region. They may also come into being on the issue o f ? neglect*of a region which causes its economic backwardness. Regional parties are often seen promoting regionalism -giving primacy to narrow local interest. Some people see them as a threat to the idea o f a strong nation but at the same time there i are people who do not have such a negative approach towards them. They believe the strong regional parties ensure that the region they represent gets a fair deal by the central government. The year 1989 ushered in the phase o f multi- party system at the centre. This has meant a definite role for regional parties in the national politics.
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