Elections in India

Political parties are recognized on the basis of the election results in various States. The national parties, as on October 2004, had been :

(1) Indian National Congress (INC),

(2) Nationalist Congress Party (NCP),

(3) Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP),

(4) Communist Party of India (CPI-M),

(5) Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and

(6) Communist Party of India (CPI)

In January 2013, the national political parties, according to the Election Commission, were: (1) Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), (3) Communist Party of India (CPI), (4) Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM), (5) Indian National Congress (INC), (6) Samajwadi Pary (SP). During the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, political parties which participated in the elections, among others, included. Bhartiya Janata Party, Indian National Congress, the Communist Party of India, the Communist Party of India (the Marxist), the Nationalist Congress Party, the Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party. Th eregional political parties in the National Democratic Alliance were in addition to Bhartiya Janata Party, the Telugu Desam Party, Shiv Sena, DMK, Akali Dal, Lok Jan Shakti Party, and on the United Progressive Alliance side, in addition to the Congress, were, the Rashtriya Janata Dal, Nationalist Congress Party, and the Rasthriya Lok Dal. The left political parties included the Communist Party of India (Marxist), and the Communist Party of India. The Forward Block, the Samajwadi Party, the Trinamool Congress, A.I.A.D.M.K., the Janata Dal (United), the Aam Aadami Party are some of the other political parties. Parties that have received certain amount of votes or seats in the states are recognized as State parties by the Election Commission. Recognition as a State party gives the party the possibility to reserve a particular election symbol in the concerned State. A regional party might be recognized in more than one State. A party recognized in four states is automatically recognized as a national party. Some of the states/regional parties are:

All India Forward Bloc (West Bengal), All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), All India Anna Federation for Progress of Dravidians (Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry), Asom Gana Parishad, Assam People�s Federation (Assam), Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Federation for Progress of Dravidians (Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry), Hill State People�s Democratic Party (Meghalaya), Indian National Lok Dal, Indian National People�s Party (Haryana), Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (Jammu and Kashmir), Janata Dal Secular (Karnataka), Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (Jharkhand), Rashitrya Janata Dal (Bihar), Congress Nationalist Party (Maharashtra), Shiromani Akali Dal (Punjab), Shiv Sena (Maharashtra) ff Telugu Desam (Andhra Pradesh).

Interest and Pressure Groups in India

Pressure Groups are those informal organsations which come into existence for the protection and promotion of their own special interests. They influence the activities of the government through different methods. Zeigler defines the pressure groups as �organised aggregate which seek to influence the context of the government decisions attempting to place its members in formal government capacities. In fact, in democratic systems, pressure groups are not only common but necessary also. One may identify their characteristics such as:

(i) informal as well as formal;

(ii) universal;

(iii) safeguarding particular interests;

(iv) voluntarily membership;

(v) non-political character;

(vi) pressurising public policies;

(vii) responsibility towards their own organization. Pressure groups are different than the interest groups. Unlike the interest groups, pressure groups are strictly structured; pressure-focused; harsher in attitude; and protective as well as promotive. Pressure groups should be distinguished from political parties: political parties are political in character while pressure-groups are non-political; political parties seek political power whereas pressure-groups help political parties with volunteers so to attain political power; political parties contest elections while pressures groups support parties� candidates; political parties flourish on ideologies while pressures-groups have negligible concern for ideologies; the objectives of political parties are general while those of pressure groups, particular and specific.

The methods of pressure groups are numerous such as:

(i) petitions, (ii) propaganda, (iii) nurture public opinion on their side; (iv) resort to strikes, bandhs, dharnas, rallies and demonstrations; (v) hunger strikes; (vi) lobbying. Pressure groups, in India, are of various types. There are the business groups like Chamber�s of Commerce and Industries (CCI) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). There are the trade unions such as all India Trade Union Congress (ITUC), The Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU). There are farmers� pressure groups such as the Bhartiya Kissan Unions (BKU) as in Uttar Pradesh, Shetkari Sangthan in Maharashtra, and Karnataka Ryota Sungh. There are the students� pressure groups such as NSUI, ABVP, SFI (the Congress, the Bhartiya Janata Party and the CPI supported wings of the students). Some other social pressure groups are the DAV educational institutions, Chief Khalsa Diwan, Singh Sabhas, the Muslim Educational Trusts, Jain Sewa Sangh etc. Pressure groups play significant role in the society: they mobilise public opinion; they pressurise legislators and ministers and officials; they launch movements; they provide necessary information�s as required by the authorities; they organize seminars; they influence social, economic and political reforms.

Written by princy

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