Social Science: Political Parties - Role Do Political Parties Play in Competition and Contestation


State the conditions as laid down by the Election Commission to recognise a 'State Party' and a 'National Party'.



The difference between a state and a national party can be identified as follows:

In a state party, the party members aim to highlight the regional interests. On the other hand, a national party gives due importance to national interests.

A state party can contest in elections only in a particular state, whereas a national party can contest in elections all across the country.

Example: BJP and Congress are national parties, whereas Akali Dal and Trinamool Congress are state level parties.

Concept: Role Do Political Parties Play in Competition and Contestation
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2013-2014 (March) Delhi Set 3


What is the guiding philosophy of Bharatiya Janata Party?

“Political parties are a necessary condition for a democracy”. Analyse the statement with examples.

What is meant by a political party?

State the conditions required to be a national political party.

"Nearly every one of the state parties wants to get an opportunity to be a part of one or the other national level coalition." Support the statement with arguments.

State the various functions political parties perform in a democracy.

Suggest some reforms to strengthen parties so that they perform their functions well?

A group of people who come together to contest elections and hold power in the government is called a ______________________.

Read the following passage and answer the questions given below:

Muhammad Yunus is a famous economist of Bangladesh. He received several international honours for his efforts to promote economic and social development for the benefit of the poor. He and the Grameen Bank he started, jointly received the Noble Peace Prize for 2006. In February 2007, he decided to launch a political party and contest in the parliamentary elections. His objective was to foster proper leadership, good governance and build a new Bangladesh. He felt that only a political party different from the traditional ones would bring about new political culture. His party would be democratic from the grassroots level.

The launching of the new party, called Nagarik Shakti (Citizens’ Power), has caused a stir among the Bangladeshis. While many welcomed his decisions, some did not like it. "Now I think Bangladesh will have a chance to choose between good and bad and eventually have a good government," said Shahedul Islam, a government official. "That government, we hope, would not only keep itself away from corruption but also make fighting corruption and black money a top priority."

But leaders of traditional political parties who dominated the country’s politics for decades were apprehensive. "There was no debate (over him) winning the Novel, but politics is different − very challenging and often controversial," said a senior leader of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party. Some others were highly critical. They asked why he was rushing into politics. "Is he being planted in politics by mentors from outside the country," asked one political observer.

Do you think Yunus made a right decision to float a new political party?

Do you agree with the statements and fears expressed by various people? How do you want this new party organised to make it different from other parties? If you were the one to begin this political party how would you defend it?

Analyze the role of opposition political parties in a democracy.


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