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Political Parties Summary Class 10 Social Science Chapter 4

Why do we need Political Parties?

Meaning of Political Party

  • A political party is a group of people who come together to contest elections and hold power in the government.

Functions of a Political Party

  • Parties contest elections.
  • Parties put forward different policies and programmes and the voters choose from them. A party reduces a vast number of opinions into a few basic positions which it supports.
  • Parties play a decisive role in making laws for a country.
  • Parties form and run governments.
  • Those parties that lose in the elections play the role of opposition to the parties in power.

How many Parties should we have?

  • There are three types of party system a country can have.

One Party System

  • Only one party is allowed to control and run the government.

Two Party System

  • Power usually changes between two main parties.

Multi-Party System

  • Several parties compete for power, and more than two parties have a reasonable chance of coming to power either on their own strength or in alliance with others.

Election Commission

  • Every party in India has to register with the Election Commission. 
  • The Commission treats every party as equal to the others, but it offers special facilities to large and established parties.
  • They are given a unique symbol and are called, “recognised political parties.

State Parties

  • A party that secures at least six 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.

National Parties

  • A party that secures at least six percent of the 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.

Indian National Congress (INC)

  • Popularly known as the Congress Party.
  • Founded in 1885.
  • Played a dominated role in Indian politics, at the national and state level for several decades after India’s Independence.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)

  • Founded in 1980 by reviving the erstwhile Bharatiya Jana Sangh.
  • Cultural nationalism (or ‘Hindutva’) is an important element in its origination of Indian nationhood and politics.
  • Wants full territorial and political integration of Jammu and Kashmir with India.

Bahujan  Samaj Party (BSP)

  • Formed in 1984 under the leadership of Kanshi Ram.
  • Seeks to represent and secure power for the bahujan samaj which includes the dalits, adivasis, OBCs and religious minorities.

Communist Party of India - Marxist (CPI-M)

  • Founded in 1964.
  • Believes in Marxism- Leninism.
  • Supports socialism, secularism and democracy and opposes imperialism and communalism.

Communist Party of India (CPI)

  • Formed in 1925.
  • Believes in Marxism-Leninism, secularism and democracy.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)

  • Formed in 1999 following a split in the Congress party.
  • Accepted democracy, Gandhian secularism, equity, social justice and federalism.

State Parties

  • Other than these six parties, most of the major parties of the country are classified by the Election Commission as ‘State parties’.

Challenges to Political Parties

  • Lack of Internal Democracy
  • Challenge of Dynastic Succession
  • Growing Role of Money and Muscle Power
  • Meaningful choice

How can Parties be reformed?

Recent efforts and suggestions in India

  • The Constitution was amended to prevent elected MLAs and MPs from changing parties.
  • New law states that 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.
  • The Election Commission passed an order making it necessary for political parties to hold their organisational elections and file their income tax returns.

Some suggestions to reform political parties

  • A law should be made to regulate the internal affairs of political parties.
  • To give a minimum number of tickets, about one-third, to women candidates
  • There should be state funding of elections.
  • There are two other ways in which political parties can be reformed.
The document Political Parties Summary Class 10 Social Science Chapter 4 is a part of the Class 10 Course Social Studies (SST) Class 10.
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FAQs on Political Parties Summary Class 10 Social Science Chapter 4

1. Why do political parties exist?
Ans. Political parties exist to represent the diverse interests and opinions of the people in a democratic society. They provide a platform for individuals to come together and collectively pursue their shared goals and ideology. Political parties play a crucial role in shaping public opinion, formulating policies, and contesting elections to gain political power.
2. How do political parties contribute to democracy?
Ans. Political parties contribute to democracy by providing a mechanism for political participation and representation. They act as a link between the government and the people, allowing citizens to express their views, concerns, and aspirations. Political parties also play a vital role in mobilizing voters, organizing campaigns, and promoting public debate on important issues, fostering a healthy democratic environment.
3. What are the advantages of having political parties?
Ans. The advantages of having political parties include: 1. Representation: Political parties represent the diverse interests of the people and provide a platform for different groups and individuals to have their voices heard in the decision-making process. 2. Policy Formulation: Political parties develop and articulate their policies and programs, which allows voters to make informed choices during elections. This helps in shaping the direction and priorities of the government. 3. Accountability: Political parties act as a check on the government by holding them accountable for their actions and policies. They provide a platform for opposition and criticism, ensuring that those in power are answerable to the public. 4. Stability: Political parties provide stability to the political system by bringing order and structure. They help in maintaining a balance of power and ensure a smooth transition of government. 5. Participation: Political parties encourage citizen participation in the political process. They provide opportunities for individuals to join and contribute to political activities, fostering a sense of civic engagement and empowerment.
4. Can political parties lead to polarization?
Ans. Yes, political parties can lead to polarization in a society. When political parties strongly align with specific ideologies or interests, they may promote a divisive and confrontational approach. Such polarization can result in an "us vs. them" mentality, where individuals and groups become increasingly unwilling to find common ground or compromise. This can hinder the functioning of democratic institutions and hamper the process of consensus-building.
5. Are political parties necessary for effective governance?
Ans. Political parties are considered necessary for effective governance in a democratic system. They provide a platform for individuals with similar political ideologies to come together and form a government. Political parties help in the functioning of the legislature by organizing members, facilitating the passage of laws, and providing a framework for policy-making. They also ensure political stability by promoting a system of checks and balances and offering a clear alternative for voters during elections. Without political parties, governance may become fragmented, making it difficult to form a stable government and implement policies efficiently.
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