- Political parties are an integral part of a democracy. People engage in legislative processes by choosing leaders to legislative bodies representing a political party.
- They also encourage individuals to participate in political activities.
- People’s concerns are raised as a result of such efforts.
- Political parties are thus necessary components of a democratic political system.
- There are various political parties in India.
- India has seen a shift in the post-independence period, from the dominance of a single party, the Congress, in the 1950s-1960s to the multiplication of parties in the latter period.
- A political party is an essential feature of every political system.
Here are some of the major National political parties of the Indian political system.
Recognized National Parties accepted by the Election Commission of India
1. Bharatiya Janata Party
- The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is an Indian political party that promotes pro-Hindu ideology.
- The BJP is a by-product of Bharatiya Jana Sangh.
- The Bharatiya Jana Sangh (established in 1951) was an organization that fought for the reconstruction of India in conformity with Hindu culture.
- Bharatiya Janata Party got its present-day form in the year 1980.
- It won its first substantial election victory in 1989, despite a reaction in 1992 following the Babri Masjid’s demolition in Ayodhya.
- The BJP formed a short-lived administration in 1996.
- Atal Bihari Vajpayee as Prime Minister, the party and its allies secured a majority government two years later.
- In 1998, Vajpayee was re-elected Prime Minister as the leader of a coalition comprising the BJP and other parties.
- Vajpayee resigned from the government when the NDA was defeated in legislative elections in 2004.
- BJP has been in power since 2014 under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
2. Indian National Congress
- The Congress Party is the common name for the Indian National Congress.
- It is one of the world’s oldest political parties.
- It was established in 1885.
- After independence, it played a significant role in Indian politics at the national and state levels.
- Under Nehru’s leadership, the party attempted to establish a contemporary secular democratic republic in India.
- It ruled until 1977, and again from 1980 to 1989, although its popularity declined eventually.
- The party is pro-secularist and aims to welfare marginalized groups and minorities.
- It is a humane supporter of new economic changes.
- In the 2004 elections, it emerged as the single largest party with 145 seats, and it now serves as the centre’s opposition.
3. All India Trinamool Congress
- Mamata Banerjee launched the All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) on January 1, 1998.
- Banerjee, who had been a member of the Congress party for over 26 years, created her party in West Bengal and was given the unique emblem of the party, the ‘Jora ghas phul.
- ‘ During the 2011 Assembly elections in West Bengal, the TMC’s ‘Ma Mati Manush’ slogan, which translates as ‘Mother, Motherland, and People’ given by Mamata Banerjee, became extremely popular.
- In West Bengal’s 2016 Assembly election, people handed the Trinamool Congress a second opportunity with a large mandate.
- The TMC’s success in traditional left-wing strongholds rendered the Left Front almost irrelevant in state politics.
4. The Bahujan Samaj Party
- Kanshi Ram formed the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in 1984. Its electoral emblem is an elephant.
- It aspires to represent the Bahujan Samaj, which comprises oppressed classes and minorities.
- It propagates BR Ambedkar’s beliefs and teachings and takes inspiration from them.
- The BSP speaks out against the ‘Manuwadi’ social structure, which is practised by higher-caste Hindus, particularly Brahmins, and the top crust of society.
- Its headquarter is in Uttar Pradesh, with a significant presence in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, and Punjab.
- Mayawati succeeded Kanshi Ram and got elected as Uttar Pradesh’s chief minister and formed a cabinet.
5. Communist Party of India
- The Communist Party of India (CPI) is an Indian national political party.
- CPI was formed in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, in late 1925.
- Its headquarter is in New Delhi.
- The CPI’s main aim was to develop a movement that blended militant anti-imperialist patriotism with internationalism, similar to Gandhi Ji’s and the Indian National Congress’s nonviolent civil disobedience (satyagraha) campaigns.
- Manabendra Nath Roy presented a manifesto in Tashkent (now Uzbekistan) in 1920, forming a communist party in India.
- After India’s independence in 1947, the CPI gained support and followers rapidly.
6. Communist Party of India (Marxist)
- The Communist Party of India (Marxist) CPIM, is India’s most well-known national political party.
- It is a political party based on the left ideology with a communist philosophy.
- The communist philosophy was written by Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin that promoted social justice, equality, and a stateless and classless society.
- CPIM claims to be an Indian working-class political party fighting for the rights of workers, peasants, and others.
- The Communist Party of India (CPI) split up in 1964, and its members founded the CPIM.
- As part of communist party coalitions, the CPIM established a significant presence in West Bengal, Tripura, and Kerala.
7. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)
- The Nationalist Congress Party was formed in the year 1999.
- A split in the congress party became the ground for the formation of NCP.
- The party advocates the core values like democracy, equality, social justice, and federalism.
- The NCP thinks that empowering society’s weakest members is essential.
- It is keen on enacting a law requiring only natural-born Indian citizens to key positions.
- In Maharashtra, it has been a ruling party in coalitions.
- Maharashtra was the state where the NCP achieved the most electoral victories.
- It came in third place in the first election it contested in Maharashtra.