Regional Parties

Advertisement Remove all ads


  • Regional parties
  • Changing nature of regional parties in India
  • Some Major Regional Parties as shown below
    1) Shiv Sena
    2) Shiromani Akali Dal 
    3) Jammu and Kashmir National Conference
    4) Assam Gan Parishad
    5) Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
  • Regional Parties in Maharashtra (Representation in Vidhan Sabha)



  • People in India speak different languages and have different traditions and cultures. They belong to different parts of India. As we can see, each region has its unique language. You have already studied different geographical regions in Maharashtra. There exists geographical and cultural diversity in Maharashtra. Maharashtra is distinct from Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. 
  • The attachment acquired about our language and region gradually turns into identity consciousness, giving rise to regionalism. People begin to focus on the interest and development of their own region. They begin to feel proud of their language, literature, traditions, history of social reform, and educational and cultural movements, and this leads to the development of linguistic identity. Regional identity emerges from awareness of the region's development and the belief that individuals living in the region should have a claim to resources and employment possibilities. 
  • Regional consciousness emerges as a stronger feeling when linguistic, regional, cultural and other identities get connected. It can sometimes give birth to independent political parties, pressure organizations, or movements. All of these developments are aimed at safeguarding the interests of the region. 

Regional Parties

Regional parties are those groups in the region who have a proud feeling about the different identities of their region and who compete to get political power with the objective of regional development. Regional parties have limited power over a specific region. Though they play an important role at the regional level, they also have an impact on national politics. Regional parties prioritize the solving of regional issues. They want more autonomy and control for the development of the region. They aim to maintain their autonomy while cooperating with the federal government. 

Demands of Regional parties:  

  • Resolution of regional problems at a regional level.  
  • Political power should be in the hands of the people from the region.  
  • residents of the region should get preference in administration and jobs.

Changing nature of regional parties in India:

Regional parties emerged in India following the independence of the country. However, their nature and role have evolved significantly over time. 

  • Separatist movements: Separatist movements began as a result of regional identities. The calls for an independent Khalistan, Dravidistan were created with the goal of leaving the Indian Federation and existing as an independent state. Such demands have been made by regional parties in Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and Jammu & Kashmir. 
  • Autonomy: Demands of Regional parties eventually evolved. Instead of an independent state, they began demanding greater autonomy. This was the second stage in the development of regional parties. This stage started after 1990. 
  • Development of the region: Regional parties urged that people from the region be given power at the state and national levels in order to develop a region. Shiv Sena, Telugu Desam, etc.  
  • The difference in trends: The development of regional parties in the North East follows a different trend. They dropped their demand for separatists and have begun to demand autonomy. Regional parties from the North East are now making inroads into national politics.  

To summarize, the role of regional parties in India has passed from separatism to democracy to autonomy, and now to admission into mainstream national politics. One of the consequences of their growing influence in national politics is coalition politics. 

Some Major Regional Parties in India:  

(1) Shiv Sena: 

  • It is Maharashtra's main political party, founded in 1966.  
  • Its objective is the Protection of Marathi rights, promotion of the Marathi language, and opposition to people from other regions.  
  • It came to power in Maharashtra in 1995 after forming a coalition with the BJP. Since 2014, it has shared power in Maharashtra with the BJP. 
  • Following the 2019 elections, a government was formed in collaboration with the Congress Party and the National Congress party. 

(2) Shiromani Akali Dal:  

  • It was established in 1920 as a prominent regional party in Punjab.  
  • The objective of cultivating a religious and regional identity 
  • For many years, it holds power in Punjab. 

(3) Jammu and Kashmir National Conference:

  • It’s a main regional party in Kashmir - established in 1932.  
  • Protect the interests of the Kashmiri people and the autonomy of the state. 

(4) Assam Gan Parishad: 

  • In 1985, the Assam agreement was signed. 
  • Resolution of the problems of displaced people. Safeguarding the unique cultural, linguistic and social identity of Assam and the economic development of Assam.  
  • For many years, it has held power in Assam.

(5) Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam: 


  • In 1920, there was a non-Brahmin movement called the Justice Party, this movement was transformed into Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam - a political organization. 
  • In 1949, a group of this party broke away to form the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. 
  • n 1972, another faction broke away from the party to form the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. 
  • Protection of Tamil Identity, member of the Centre's Coalition Government for some years. 
  • Voters from many walks of life support the party. It ruled for a long time and widely implemented several policies.  

In India, there are numerous regional parties in each state that have influenced state politics. 

Regional Parties in Maharashtra (Representation in Vidhan Sabha) 

Name of Party Seats won
Shiv Sena 44 63
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena 13 01
Peasants and Workers Party 04 03
Republican Party of India-Bahujan Mahasangh 01


Republican Party of India -- --
Samajwadi Party 04 01
Bahujan Vikas Aghadi 02 03
Rashtriya Samaj Paksha 01 01
All India Majlis-EIttehadulla Musalmeen * 02
Janasurajya Shakti 02 --
Loksangram 01 --
Swabhimani Party 01 --
If you would like to contribute notes or other learning material, please submit them using the button below.
Advertisement Remove all ads

      Forgot password?
View in app×