Indian Political Parties
(1) THE CONGRESS. This was formed in 1855 on the initiative of A.O. Hume, a retired officer of the East India Company. Till the end of the 19″ century, the Congress concerned itself with the criticism of government policy. It attained its national character only after it came under the influence of Gandhiji in 1920. The history of the Congress is the history of India’s struggle for freedom.
The Congress wants to create a society based on social and economic justice. At the Avadi session (1955), the party decided to create a socialistic pattern of society. It aims at creating an economy where there is public sector as well as private sector. It stands for secularism and communal harmony. It wants to protect the interests of the weaker sections and the minorities in society. It has implemented the Mandal Commission report with some changes.
In 1969 the Congress split —Congress (0) under the leadership of Karnaraj and the Iptlian National Congress under the leadership of Kamaraj and the Indian National Congress under the leadership of Indira Gandhi. The party again split into Congress (I) and the Congress (S). After the assassination of Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi became Prime Minister of India. In the elections held in 1989 the party did not get majority and became the most important Opposition in the Lok Sabha. In 1991, the Congress became the largest party and formed the Government in June 1991.
In the general elections held in 2004, the Congress (I) and its allies have been voted back into power. It has formed the government with the help of the Left parties.
(2) THE CONGRESS (S). It came into being because of the split in the Indian National Congress in 1978. It wants to follow the Ideals of the old Congress Party.
(3) THE JANATA PARTY. It was formed in 1977. The party came to power in March- 1-977 and Morarji Desai became the Prime Minister. Originally, it was an alliance of four political parties, viz., the Jan Sangh, Bharatia Lok Dal (BLD) and Congress (O). The Janata Party aims at creating a “democratic, secular, socialist State”. The internal squabbles made the party weak and it fell from power in July 1979.
(4) THE JANATA DAL. It was formed in 1988 by merging three parties. They were.the Lok Dal of the Ajit Singh, Jana Morcha of V.P. Singh and the Janata Dal of Chandrasekar. In 1989 V.P. Singh, became the Prime Minister. But he could not continue long in power. This was due to the withdrawal of the support given by the Bharatiya Janata Party. Singh resigned in November 1990.
The Janata Dal stands for social justice. It wanted to implement the Mandal Commission report. But it could not do so because riots broke out in some northern ‘states. The party has split several times. Defection has been its bane. “Political suicide appears to be the true agenda of the Janata Dal” (India Today July 15, 1994).
(5) THE BHARATIYA JANATA PARTY. The party came into being as a result of the split in the Janata Party. Gandhian Socialism is the goal of the party. It is now the major Opposition in the Lok Sabha. Its influence has lately declined. This is mainly due to the demolition of Babri Masjid (December 6, 1992). The BJP, which formed an alliance with other regional parties, was in government from 1999 to 2004; when it lost the people’s mandate in the general elections.
(6) COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA. It was formed in 1914, During the Quit India Movement (1942), the party supported the British Government. The ban on the party was lifted in 1943. On several occasions it helped the Congress party. It is against all forms of corruption and wants to bring all means of production and distribution under the control of the Government.
(7) THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MARXIST). The party came into existence in 1964. The Chinese attack of India in 1962 is the main reason for the split. It aims at the establishment of a people’s democratic Kate led by the working class for the realization of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the building up of socialism according to the teachings of Marxism and Leninism. The party is now in power in West Bengal and Tripura.
There are a large number of regional and local politics parties. The names of some of them are mentioned below
- The National Conference
- Akali Dal (Badal)
- Akali Dal (Amritsar)
- Assam Gana Parishad
- Telugu Desam
- Samajwadi Party
- Bahujan Samaj Party
- Forward Bloc
- Muslim League
- Kerala Congress (M)
- Kerala Congress (J)
- Shiv Sena
- Sikkim Sangram Parishad.
There is a mushroom growth of political parties in our country. This reveals not only the selfishness of our politicians, but also parochialism and regionalism, which have become rampant in Indian politics. The multiplicity of political parties hinders the smooth working of democracy. It increases the expenses for elections and at times it creates a hung parliament.’ In countries like the United Kingdom, there are mainly two political parties. When one party is in power the other will be in the opposition. The domination of one political party appears to be a thing of the past in India. Some eminent men like Shri R. Venkataranian think that in futige coalition governments will become necessary in India. He says that such governments have become a great success in several countries.