Very Short Question Answer
Q1: Differentiate between ruling and opposition parties. [Term-ll, 2021-22]
Ans: The ruling party is the party that wins the election and forms the government. They have the majority and are responsible for making decisions and implementing policies. On the other hand, the opposition party is the party that does not have a majority or does not come under the majority coalition. They play the role of questioning and criticizing the ruling party's actions and policies.
Q2: Why has India adopted a multi-party system? Explain. [Term-ll, 2021-22, Foreign 2017, Al 2016]
Ans: India has adopted a multi-party system due to the social and geographic diversity of the nation. It is not feasible to accommodate all the varied interests and opinions of the people in just one or two political parties. The multi-party system allows for a wide range of political representations and ensures that different groups and communities have the opportunity to be heard and participate in the democratic process.
Q3: How do political parties shape public opinion? [Term-ll, 2021-22]
Ans: Political parties shape public opinion in several ways. They highlight and raise important issues, bringing them to the attention of the public. Parties have a large number of members spread across the country, and they often act as pressure groups, representing the interests of different sections of society. Parties also have the ability to launch movements and campaigns to address the problems faced by the people, which can help shape public opinion.
Q4: Give one technical term for the following statement: "A person who is strongly committed to a party or group." [2020 C]
Q5: Correct the following statement and rewrite it: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) was formed under the leadership of Mayawati. 
Ans: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) was formed under the leadership of Kanshi Ram.
Q6: Why is a one-party system not considered a good democratic system? 
Ans: A one-party system is not considered a good democratic system because it does not provide any democratic options or alternative viewpoints. It limits political competition and can lead to a lack of accountability and transparency. In a healthy democracy, multiple parties allow for a wider range of opinions and choices, fostering debate, checks and balances, and representation of diverse interests.
Q7: Name any one political party that has a national-level political organization but is not recognized as the national political party. [Al 2016]
Ans: Samajwadi Party, Samata Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal
Q8: Name the alliance formed by the Congress Party. 
Ans: United Progressive Alliance (UPA)
Q9: Which party was the principal opposition party in Lok Sabha in 2004? 
Ans: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
Short Question Answer
Q1: Explain any three challenges faced by Political Parties in India. 
- Lack of internal democracy: In most of the political parties, the power is concentrated in the hands of one or few leaders. Ordinary members of the party cannot even dream of rising to the top as there are no internal elections.
- No records: There are hardly any records of registered members. The top leadership is often disconnected with the grassroots workers. Loyalty to the policies and principles of the party has less value than the loyalty to the top leadership.
- Dynastic succession: The top positions in many political parties are usually controlled by members of one family. A person born in a particular family becomes the leader by virtue of his birth; which is not the sign of a healthy democracy. This is not the case in India alone, but in many other countries as well.
Q2: Explain the merits of Multi Party System. 
Ans: The merits of a multi-party system are as follows:
- It allows various interests and opinions to enjoy political participation. In a multi-party system, different political parties represent different ideologies, perspectives, and interests of the society. This ensures that a wide range of opinions and voices are represented in the political process.
- In a diverse country, a multi-party system covers all aspects of different sections of society. It provides a platform for different communities, social groups, and regions to have their interests and concerns represented in the political arena.
- A multi-party system promotes healthy competition and accountability. Political parties compete with each other to gain public support and win elections. This competition leads to the formulation of better policies and governance, as parties strive to fulfill the expectations and demands of the people.
- It allows for the representation of minority groups and ensures that their voices are heard. In a multi-party system, smaller parties representing specific communities or interests have the opportunity to participate in politics and influence decision-making.
- A multi-party system fosters political stability and prevents the concentration of power in the hands of a single party or individual. It provides a system of checks and balances, as parties with different ideologies and agendas act as watchdogs and scrutinize the actions of the ruling party.
Overall, a multi-party system promotes inclusiveness, diversity, and democratic values by allowing for the representation of various interests and opinions in the political process.
Q3: Explain how the rise of political parties is directly linked to the emergence of representative democracies. [Term-ll, 2021-22]
- When societies develop and expand, they become more complex in terms of social, economic, and political relations. In order to sustain governance and address the diverse interests and concerns of the people, political parties emerge as key players in representative democracies.
- Political parties provide the base on which the policies of representative government are built. They gather public views on various important issues, articulate them, and then present them to the government. Parties bring various representatives together, support or restrain the government and its apparatus, develop policies, and justify or oppose them in the public domain depending on their political ideology.
- The rise of political parties is directly linked to the emergence of representative democracies because they serve as the channels through which citizens can participate in the political process. They act as intermediaries between the government and the people, ensuring that the government remains accountable and responsive to the needs and aspirations of the citizens.
- Political parties also play a crucial role in the formation of governments. In representative democracies, political parties compete in elections, and the party or coalition of parties that secures a majority forms the government. This ensures that the government represents the will of the people and has the mandate to govern.
In summary, political parties are essential for the healthy development and functioning of representative democracies. They provide a platform for political participation, gather public views, and facilitate the formation of governments that reflect the will of the people.
Q4: Explain any three features of a 'one-party system'. [Term-ll, 2021-22]
Ans: Three features of a one-party system are as follows:
- Only one party is allowed to control and rule the government. In a one-party system, there is no change of government, and power is concentrated in the hands of the party leader or a small group of party elites. This leads to a lack of political competition and limited choices for the citizens.
- In this system, electoral politics does not permit free competition for power. Opposition parties are either banned or heavily restricted, making it difficult for alternative voices and viewpoints to emerge. The ruling party dominates the political landscape and suppresses dissenting voices, leading to limited political pluralism.
- There is an absence of checks and balances provided by democratic government. In a one-party system, the ruling party exercises significant control over the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government. This concentration of power can lead to authoritarianism, as there are no independent institutions or mechanisms to hold the government accountable.
Overall, a one-party system lacks the principles of political pluralism, competition, and accountability that are fundamental to a democratic system. It concentrates power in the hands of a single party and restricts the participation of alternative voices, leading to limited political freedom and democratic governance.
Q5: Read the source given below and answer the questions that follow: [2021 C]
Democracies that follow a federal system all over the world tend to have two kinds of political parties : parties that are present in only one of the federal units and parties that are present in several or all units of the federation. This is the case in India as well. There are some countrywide parties, which are called 'national parties'. These parties have their units in various states. But by and large, all these units follow the same policies, programmes and strategy that is decided at the national level.
Every party in the country has to register with the Election Commission. While the Commission treats all parties equally, it offers some special facilities to large and established parties. These parties are given a unique symbol - only the official candidates of that party can use that election symbol. Parties that get this privilege and some other special facilities are ‘recognised’ by the Election Commission for this purpose. That is why these parties are called, 'recognised political parties'. The Election Commission has laid down detailed criteria of the proportion of votes and seats that a party must get in order to be a recognised party. A party that secures at least 6 percent of the total votes in an election to the Legislative Assembly of a State and wins at least two seats is recognised as a State party. A party that secures at least six percent of total votes in Lok Sabha elections or Assembly elections in four States and wins at least four seats in the Lok Sabha is recognised as a National party.
Answer the following MCQs by choosing the most appropriate option:
(i) Which one of the following is a National party?
(a) Bharatiya Janata Party
(b) Samajwadi Party
(c) Shiv Sena
(d) Shiromani Akali Dal
(ii) Which of the following is not a regional party?
(a) Jharkhand Mukti Morcha
(b) Asom Gana Parishad
(c) Indian National Congress
(d) Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
(iii) Where does every political party have to register in India?
(a) Government of India
(b) NITI Aayog
(c) Election Commission
(d) Law Commisssion
(iv) When a party that secures at least six per cent of total votes in Lok Sabha elections or Assembly elections in four states and wins at least four seats of Lok Sabha, it is recognised as a :
(a) Regional Party
(b) National Party
(c) Pressure Group
(d) Business Organisation
Q6: Explain the three components of a political party. [CBSE Delhi 2019 (32/1/2)
The three components of a political party are as follows:
- The Leaders: The leaders are the ones who hold positions of power at various levels in the sphere of politics. They belong to different political parties. The leaders of the ruling party are responsible for the impact of various policies and processes and address issues of the people time and again.
- The Active members: Political parties comprise lakhs of members and political activists across the entire nation. They play an important role in promoting the agenda of the party including a focus on issues and various policies and party leadership.
- The Followers: The followers of a political party are the supporters of the ideas and agenda of that particular political party. They are the citizens of the general public who strongly believe in the ideas and approaches of the party and extend their support to the party, especially during elections.
Note: A political party is a group of people with similar ideologies who come together to form an organization in order to contest elections and hold power in the government.
Q7: What is the role of the opposition party in a democracy? [CBSE (AI) 2017]
Explain three functions of opposition political parties. [(CBSE Delhi 2019]
Ans: Those parties that lose elections play the role of opposition to the parties in power. The role played by the opposition is:
- It gives its own opinion which may oppose the ruling party.
- The opposition party mobilises opposition to the government.
- It puts its different views in the parliament and criticises the government for its failures or wrong policies.
- By doing this, it can keep a check on the ruling party, which is made to move on track.
Q8: Which organization does recognize ‘Political Parties in India? [CBSE (Comptt) 2017]
Ans: The Election Commission of India is responsible for the task of recognizing political parties in India. Every party in India has to register with the Election Commission and it also lays down detailed criteria for state as well as national level parties to qualify as a particular 'party.'
Q9: Name any two regional political parties of U.P. (Uttar Pradesh). [CBSE (F) 2017]
Ans: Two Regional Political Parties of UP:
(i) S. E (Samajvadi Party)
(ii) Rashtriya Lok Dal
Q10: Assess the importance of political parties in a democracy. [CBSE (F) 2017]
Ans: Importance of Political Parties:
- Parties contest elections to form a government.
- Parties put forward different policies and programmes and the voters choose from them.
- A party reduces a vast multitude of opinions into a few basic positions which it supports.
- Parties play a decisive role in making laws for a country.
- Parties recruit leaders, trains them and then make them ministers to run the Government.
- Parties provide people access to government machinery and welfare schemes implemented by governments.
Q12: “Political Parties are a necessary condition for a democracy.” Analyse the statement with examples. [CBSE (Comptt) 2017]
Ans: Political parties are a necessary condition for a democracy: If political parties don't exist then:
- Every candidate in the elections will be independent.
- No one will be able to make any promise to the people about any major policy changes.
- The government may be formed, but its utility will remain ever uncertain.
- Elected representatives will be accountable to their constituency for what they do in the locality.
- No one will be responsible for how the country will be run.
- Political parties are important for representative democracies as they bring representatives together to form the government.
- It consists of people seeking to achieve their objectives through constitutional means and aims at promoting national interest.
Q13: Why did India choose to have a multi-party system?
Examine the reason to accept a multi-party system in India. [CBSE (F) 2017]
Ans: India adopted multi-party system because
- It strengthens democracy.
- India is geographically a very large country.
- India is socially a very diverse country.
- India is culturally and religiously a diverse country.
- All these diversities can be accommodated if there is a multi-party system and just 1 party or 2 party system will not help in more representation and participation of people in democratic processes.
Q14: What are the components of a political party? [CBSE (AI) 2016]
- The leaders: Who formulate policies and programs of the party and choose candidates for contesting elections.
- The active members: Who are involved in different committees of the party and participate directly in their activity.
- The followers: Who believe in the party’s ideology and support the party by casting their votes in favor of the party at the time of the election.
Q15: Name any one political party that has a national-level political organisation but not recognised as the national political party. [CBSE Delhi 2016]
Ans: State parties like the Samajwadi Party, Samata party and Rashtriya Janata Dal have National level political organisations with units in several States but are not recognised as national parties.
Q16: Why is a one-party political system not considered a good democratic system? [CBSE (F) 2016]
Ans: The one-party system has no democratic option
Q17: What is meant by a ‘national political party? State the conditions required to be a national political party. [CBSE Delhi 2016]
Ans: National Political Party has units in the various states, they follow the same policies, programmes and strategy that is decided at the national level.
(i) A party that secures at least 6% of the total votes in general elections of Lok Sabha or assembly elections in four states.
(ii) Wins at least 4 seats in Lok Sabha.
Q18: “Nearly every one of the state parties wants to get an opportunity to be a part of one nr the other national-level coalition.” Support the statement with arguments. [CBSE Delhi 2016]
Ans: State parties seeking National level coalition: Before the general election of 2014, in three general elections, no one national party was able to secure on its own a majority in Lok Sabha. As a result, the national parties were compelled to form alliances with state or regional parties. Since 1996, nearly every one of the state parties has got an opportunity to be a part of one or the other national-level coalition government. This has contributed to the strengthening of federalism and democracy.
Q19: What is meant by a regional political party? State the conditions required to be recognised as a ‘regional political party. [CBSE (Al) 2016]
Ans: A regional Party is a party that is present only in some states. Conditions required for a party to be recognised as a regional political party are:
- Regional political party (or state party) is a party that has its presence only in one or some states.
- The regional parties may not always be regional in their ideology or outlook. Examples of some regional parties with units in several states include Samajwadi Party, Samata Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal etc. Parties such as Biju Janata Dal or Mizo National Front are conscious about their state identity.
- According to the criteria laid down by the Election Commission, a party that secures at least six per cent of the total votes in an election to the legislative assembly of a state and wins at least two seats is recognized as a state party.
Q20: What is a political party? State any two points of the ideology of the Bhartiya Janata Party. [CBSE (F) 2016]
Ans: A political party is a group of people who come together to contest elections and hold power in the government. They agree on some policies and programmers for the society with a view to promoting the collective good.
The ideology of BJP:
- Wants full territorial and political integration of Jammu and Kashmir with India.
- A uniform civil code for all people living in the country irrespective of religion.
- Cultural nationalism.
Q21 Why did India adopt a multi-party system? [CBSE (AI) 2016]
- India is a large country and has social and geographical diversities.
- It is easy to absorb different diversities in a multi-party system.
Q22: “Lack of internal democracy within parties is the major challenge to political parties all over the world.” Analyse the statement. [CBSE 2015]
In what way lack of internal democracy is seen in the political parties?
- All over the world, there is a tendency of political parties towards the concentration of power in one or few leaders at the top.
- Parties do not keep membership register.
- They do not regularly hold organisational meetings.
- They do not conduct internal elections regularly.
- Ordinary members of the party do not have sufficient information as to what happens inside the party.
- As a result, the leaders assume greater power to make decisions in the name of the party.
Q23: What is the multi-party system? Why did India adopt a multi-party system?
Ans: (a) Multi-party system: If several parties compete for power, and more than two parties have a feasoriaLhre chance of coming to power either on their own strength or in alliance with others, it is called a multi-party system.
(b) (i) Every country develops a party system that is conditional by its special circumstances.
(ii) India has evolved a multi-party system because the social and geographical diversity in such a large country is not easily observed by two or even three parties.
Long Question Answer
Q1: "Political parties have become omnipresent in democracies all over the world." Explain the statement with examples. [Term-ll, 2021-22]
Ans: Political parties have become omnipresent in democracies all over the world, meaning that they are present and active in almost every democratic country. They play a crucial role in shaping the political landscape and functioning of democratic systems.
Here are a few examples to support this statement:
- United States: The two major political parties in the United States are the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. These parties dominate the political scene and play a significant role in elections, policy-making, and governance.
- United Kingdom: The Conservative Party and the Labour Party are the two main political parties in the UK. They have a long history and have been competing for power for many decades. These parties shape the political discourse, contest elections, and form governments.
- India: India has a multi-party system with several national and regional political parties. The Indian National Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are two prominent national parties. Regional parties like the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal and the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi also have a significant presence. These parties contest elections at various levels and play a crucial role in governance.
- Germany: Germany has a multi-party system with several parties representing diverse ideologies. The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) are two major parties that have been dominant in German politics. Other parties like the Green Party, the Free Democratic Party (FDP), and the Left Party also play important roles.
These examples demonstrate the omnipresence of political parties in democratic countries. Political parties provide a platform for people with similar political ideologies to come together, contest elections, and influence the decision-making process. They represent different sections of society and give citizens the opportunity to participate in the democratic process.
Q2: Describe the role of political parties in Indian democracy. [Term-ll, 2021-22 C, 2020 C]
Describe any five functions of political party. [2020, 2019 C]
Highlight any functions of political parties to strengthen democracy. [AI 2019]
Ans: Political parties play a crucial role in Indian democracy. Here are some of the key roles and functions of political parties in India:
- Contesting elections: Political parties in India contest elections at various levels, including national, state, and local elections. They nominate candidates and mobilize support to win seats in legislative bodies.
- Formulating policies and programmes: Political parties put forward different policies and programmes to address the needs and aspirations of the people. These policies and programmes are presented to voters during elections, and the party with the majority forms the government and implements its policies.
- Making laws: Political parties play a decisive role in making laws for the country. Members of political parties in the Parliament and State Assemblies participate in legislative debates, propose new laws, and amend existing ones.
- Playing the role of opposition: Political parties that do not form the government or are not part of the ruling coalition play the role of opposition. They scrutinize the government's policies and actions, hold it accountable, and provide alternative viewpoints.
- Shaping public opinion: Political parties shape public opinion by raising and highlighting issues that affect the people. They engage in public debates, organize rallies and protests, and use media platforms to influence public discourse.
- Providing access to government machinery: Political parties provide people with access to government machinery and welfare schemes implemented by the government. They act as a bridge between the citizens and the government, helping them avail benefits and address their grievances.
These roles and functions of political parties in Indian democracy contribute to the functioning of a representative government and the overall development of the country.
Q3: "There are various reforms taken to strengthen parties in India so that they perform their function well." Explain the statement with examples. [Term-II,2021-22]
Ans: In India, various reforms have been undertaken to strengthen political parties and enhance their ability to perform their functions effectively. These reforms aim to improve the internal functioning, transparency, and accountability of political parties.
Here are some examples of such reforms:
- Financial transparency: The Election Commission of India has made it mandatory for political parties to submit audited accounts of their income and expenditure. This ensures transparency in party funding and reduces the influence of money power in politics.
- Inner-party democracy: Many political parties have introduced internal democracy within their organizations. They now hold regular elections for party positions, encourage active participation of members, and promote the inclusion of diverse voices within the party.
- Anti-defection law: The Tenth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, also known as the anti-defection law, was introduced to prevent party-hopping by elected representatives. This law aims to ensure the stability of governments and discourage opportunistic political behavior.
- State funding of elections: There have been discussions and proposals for state funding of elections to reduce the influence of money and corruption in the electoral process. State funding would provide equal opportunities to all political parties and candidates, ensuring a level playing field.
- Electoral reforms: Various electoral reforms, such as the introduction of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT), and the continuous updating of electoral rolls, have been implemented to ensure free and fair elections.
These reforms strengthen political parties by promoting transparency, accountability, and inclusivity. They aim to create a more robust and responsive party system that can effectively represent the interests of the people and contribute to the functioning of Indian democracy.
Q4: Define the term 'Political Party'. Explain with examples the need for political parties in India. 
Ans: A political party is a group of people who come together to contest elections and hold power in the government. It is an organized entity that represents a specific set of political ideologies, interests, and aspirations. Political parties play a crucial role in democratic systems by mobilizing public support, influencing policy-making, and providing a platform for citizens to participate in the political process.
Examples of political parties in India include the Indian National Congress (INC), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Communist Party of India (CPI), and many more. These parties have their own organizational structures, leadership, and membership base.
The need for political parties in India arises due to several reasons:
- Representation: Political parties bring together people with similar political ideologies and interests. They provide a platform for diverse voices and opinions to be heard and represented in the government.
- Policy formulation: Political parties develop policies and programmes that address the needs and aspirations of the people. These policies are presented to voters during elections, and the party with the majority forms the government and implements its policies.
- Accountability: Political parties play a crucial role in holding the government accountable for its actions and decisions. Opposition parties scrutinize the government's policies, highlight any shortcomings, and provide alternative viewpoints.
- Electoral competition: Political parties create a competitive environment in elections, giving voters a choice between different candidates and parties. This competition fosters democratic values and ensures that elected representatives are accountable to the people.
- Stability and governance: Political parties provide stability to the government by forming coalitions and alliances. They collaborate and negotiate to form a government and work together to ensure the smooth functioning of the political system.
Overall, political parties in India fulfill the need for representation, policy formulation, accountability, electoral competition, and stability in the democratic process. They are essential for the functioning and development of the country.
Q5: Why does modem democracies could not exist without political parties?
Explain any five needs to have political parties in a democratic country. [CBSE 2019, 82/2/3]
- We can understand the necessity of political parties by imagining a situation without parties. Every candidate in the elections will be independent. So no one will be able to make any promises to the people about any major policy changes.
- Elected representatives will be accountable to their constituencies for what they do in the locality. But no one will be responsible for how the country runs.
- India also has non-party-based elections to the panchayats in many states. Although parties do not contest formally, it is generally noticed that the village splits into more than one faction, which puts up a ‘panel’ of its candidates. This is exactly what the party does. That is why we have political parties in almost all the countries in the world.
- The rise of political parties is directly linked to the emergence of representative democracies.
- Large-scale societies need representative democracy. Large societies need some way to bring various representatives together so that a responsible government can be formed.
- Thus we can say that parties are a necessary condition for democracy.
Q6: How are Political parties recognised as regional and National parties in India? [CBSE Delhi 2019]
Ans: India has a multi-party system, where political parties are classified as national, state or regional level parties. All parties are registered with the Election Commission.
The criterion for Recognition by The Election Commission as national or state-level parties.
A party has to live up to at least one of the following qualifications to be recognised as a national party:
- It has to win a minimum of two per cent of the seats in the Lok Sabha from at least three different states.
- In General Elections, the party must manage to win six per cent of the votes and win at least four Lok Sabha seats as well.
- The party is recognised as a ‘state-level party’ in four or more states.
- Examples: Congress, BJP
A party has to live up to at least one of the following qualifications to be acknowledged as a state party:
- The party has to win at least three seats or three per cent of the seats in the state legislative Assembly.
- It has to win a minimum of one seat in the Lok Sabha for every 25 seats or any fraction allotted to that concerned state.
- In a particular election, the party has to bag at least six per cent of the total votes, and also win one Lok Sabha and two Assembly seats.
- The status of a state party can still be bestowed upon an entity even if it fails to win any seats in the Lok Sabha or the Assembly if it manages to win at least eight per cent of the total votes cast in the entire state.
Examples: Janta Dal, Asom Gan Parishad etc.
National Parties in India
Despite the large number of political parties operating in India, very few are able to make their presence felt at the national level except when it comes to alliances.
Q7: Political parties fill political offices and exercise political power. But they do this by performing a series of important functions. Describe any five of them. [CBSE 2018]
Describe the role of political parties in a democratic state. [CBSE 2017-18]
- In democracies, elections are contested by the political parties by putting up their candidates.
- Political parties put forward their programmes before the voters at the time of elections in the form of a manifesto.
- Laws are passed according to the directions of the ruling party.
- The political party or a group of parties that gets the majority in the legislature form the government. Iol Parliamentary democracy that government is known by the name of the party i.e., BJP government.
- The parties that lose elections, play the role of opposition to the government. They criticise the government for its failure and wrong policies.
- Political parties raise and highlight different issues of public importance. Thus, they help in shaping- public opinion.
- Ordinary citizens approach party leaders to get their grievances redressed. For them, it is easy to approach a party leader than a government officer.
Q8: Elucidate some of the recent efforts taken in our country to reform political parties and their leaders. [CBSE Delhi 2017]
Examine any two institutional amendments made by different institutions to reform political parties and their leaders. [CBSE (F) 2016]
- The Constitution was amended to prevent elected MLAs and MPs from changing parties. This was done because many elected representatives were indulging in DEFECTION in order to become ministers or for cash rewards. Now, if any MLA or MP changes parties, he or she will lose the seat in the legislature.
- The Supreme Court passed an order to reduce the influence of money and criminals. Now, it is mandatory for every candidate who contests elections to file an AFFIDAVIT giving details of his property and criminal cases pending against him. The new system has made a lot of information available to the public. But there is no system of check if the information given by the candidates is true.
- The Election Commission passed an order making it necessary for political parties to hold their organisational elections and file their income tax; returns. The parties have started doing so but sometimes it is a mere formality. It is not clear if this step has led to greater internal democracy in political parties.
Q9: Describe in brief the recent efforts that have been made in India to reform political parties and their leaders. [CBSE 2016-17C]
Ans: Recent efforts to reform political parties and their leaders are as given below:
- Anti-defection law: In India, many elected representatives started indulging in changing party allegiance from the party to which a person had got elected to a different party in order to become ministers or for cash rewards. So in order to curb this tendency, anti-defection law was passed. According to it, if any MLA or MP changes parties, he or she will lose the seat in the legislature. Now MPs and MLAs have to obey the decisions of the party.
- Filing of an affidavit: The Supreme Court has made it mandatory for every candidate who contests an election to file an affidavit giving details of his property and criminal cases pending against him. This has been done to reduce the influence of money and criminals.
- Hold organisational elections: The Election Commission has made it necessary for political parties to hold their organisational elections and file their income tax returns.
Q10: “All over the world, people express their dissatisfaction with the failure of political parties to perform their functions well.” Analyse the statement with arguments. [CBSE Delhi 2016]
Ans: Popular dissatisfaction and criticism: It has focused on four areas in the working of political parties, need to face and overcome these challenges in order to remain effective instruments of democracy. Lack of internal democracy within parties.
- Dynastic succession: Since most political parties do not practice open transparent procedures for their functioning, there are very few ways for an ordinary worker to rise to the top in a party. Those who happen to be leaders are in a position of unfair advantage to favour people close to them or even their family member.
- The growing role of money and muscle power in parties: Since parties are focused only on mining elections, they land to use shortcuts to win elections. They feed to nominate those considers who have or can raise a lot of mercy. Rich people and companies who give funds to the parties tend to have an influence on the policies and decisions of the party. In some cases, parties support climates that can win an election.
- There is not a meaningful choice to the voters: In recent years there has been a decline in the ideological parties of the world. Sometimes different leaders either because shifting from one party to another.
Q11: What suggestions are often made to reform political parties?
Suggest any five effective measures to reform political parties. [CBSE (A I) 2016]
- A law should be made to regulate the internal affairs of political parties. It should be made compulsory for political parties to maintain a register of its members, to follow its own constitution, to act as a judge in case of party disputes and to hold open elections to the highest post."
- It should be made mandatory for political parties to give a minimum number of tickets, about one-third to the women candidates.
- There should be state funding for elections. The government should give parties money to support their election expenses. This support can be given in a way like; petrol, paper, telephone, etc. Or, it could be given in cash on the basis of votes, secured by the party in the last elections. It should be mandatory to hold their organisational elections.
- People can put pressure on political parties through petitions, publicity and agitation.
- Parties should reduce the influence of money and criminals.
- The parties should select candidates for contesting elections who have a good record.
Q12: “Political parties are a necessary condition for a democracy”. Analyse the statement with examples. [CBSE (AI) 2016]
“About hundred years ago there were a few countries that had hardly any political party. Now, there are a few countries that do not have political parties .” Examine this statement.
Ans: Political parties are a necessary condition for democracy.
- Without political parties, democracies cannot exist.
- If we do not have political parties - in such a situation every candidate in elections will be independent.
- No one will be able to make any promises to the people about any major policy changes.
- The rise of political parties is directly linked to the emergence of representative democracies. As we have seen, large societies need representative democracy.
- The government may be formed but its utility will remain uncertain. They needed some ways to bring various representatives together so that a responsible government could be formed.
- They needed some mechanisms to support or restrain the government, make policies, justify or oppose them.
- Elected representatives will be accountable to their constituency for what they do in their locality.
- Political parties play a decisive role in making laws for a country. Formally laws are debated and passed in the legislature in which the ruling party plays a major role.
- Parties form and run governments. Parties recruit leaders, train them and then make them ministers to run the government in the way they want.
- Those parties that lose in the elections play the role of opposition to the parties in power, by voicing different views and criticising for its failure or wrong policies.
- Parties shape public opinions. They raise and highlight issues. Parties have lakhs of members and activists spread all over the country. Parties sometimes also launch movements for the resolution of problems faced by people.
- But no one will be responsible for how the country will run.
- The role of the opposition party in a democracy necessitates the existence of political parties,
- As societies become large and complex, they also needed some agencies to gather different views on various issues and to present these to the government, that is why political parties are needed.