List of political parties in India
India has a multi-party system with recognition accorded to national and state level parties. The status is reviewed periodically by the Election Commission of India. Since the last three decades the two dominant national parties (INC and BJP) represent left of center and right of center beliefs. Other political parties that wish to contest local, state or national elections are required to be registered by the Election Commission of India (ECI). Registered parties are upgraded as recognized national or state level parties based upon objective criteria. A recognized party enjoys privileges like reserved party symbol, free broadcast time on state run television and radio, consultation in setting of election dates and giving inputs in setting electoral rules and regulations. 
All registered parties contesting elections need to choose a symbol from a list of available symbols offered by the EC. All 29 states of the country along with the union territories of Puducherry and the National Capital Territory of Delhi have elected governments unless President's rule is imposed under certain conditions.
As on 16 September 2014, 1759 was the total number of political parties in India which are registered with the Election Commission of India, in addition to this on 26 September 2014 the Election Commission of India has issued a notice to the Chief Electoral Officers of all States and Union Territories to bring 7(Seven) more political parties to be taken into the list, which makes the total count of registered political parties to become 1766.
The Election Commission of India allots a unique register number to all the registered political parties in India, the register number of Indian political parties look like this (56/62/2013/PPS-I).
|Total Registered Parties||1766 |
Criteria for recognition
The criteria for being recognised as a state party or as a national party has been laid down by the Election Commission of India. Any party aspiring to state or national party status must fulfil at least one of the concerned criteria. In addition, national and state parties have to fulfil these conditions for all subsequent Lok Sabha or State elections, or else they lose their status.
A registered party has to fulfill any of the following conditions for recognition as a State Party:
- A party should win minimum three percent of the total number of seats or a minimum of three seats in the Legislative Assembly.
- A party should win at least one seat in the Lok Sabha for every 25 seats or any fraction thereof allotted to that State.
- A political party should secure at least six percent of the total valid votes polled during general election to a Lok Sabha or State Legislative Assembly and should, in addition, win at least one Lok Sabha, or two Legislative Assembly seats in that election,
- Under the liberalized criteria, one more clause has been added to provide that even if a Party fails to win any seat in a State in a general election to the Lok Sabha or Legislative Assembly of the State, the party will still be eligible for recognition as State Party if it secures 8% or more of the total valid votes polled in the State.
If a party is recognised as a state party by the Election Commission, it can reserve a symbol for its exclusive use in the state. A party recognised in four states gets the status of a National Party.
A registered party is recognised as a National Party only if it fulfils any one of the following three conditions:
- The party wins 2% of seats in the Lok Sabha (as of now, 11 seats) from at least 3 different States.
- At a General Election to Lok Sabha or Legislative Assembly, the party polls 6% of votes in four States and in addition it wins 4 Lok Sabha seats.
- A party gets recognition as State Party in four or more States.
|S.No.||Name||Symbol||Symbol (Image)||Year of
Lok Sabha Seats
|1||Bharatiya Janata Party||Lotus||1980||Amit Shah||282 / 543|
|2||Indian National Congress||Hand||1885||Sonia Gandhi||44 / 543|
|3||Communist Party of India (Marxist)||Hammer, Sickle and Star||1964||Prakash Karat||9 / 543|
|4||Communist Party of India||Ears of Corn and Sickle||1925||Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy||1 / 543|
|5||Bahujan Samaj Party||Elephant (In all States/U.T.s except in the State of Assam, where its candidates will have to choose a symbol from out of the list of free symbols specified by the Commission)||1984||Mayawati||0 / 543|
|6||Nationalist Congress Party||Clock||1999||Sharad Pawar||6 / 543|
||This List is incomplete. (December 2014)|
- Subrata K. Mitra and V.B. Singh. 1999. Democracy and Social Change in India: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of the National Electorate. New Delhi: Sage Publications. ISBN 81-7036-809-X (India HB) ISBN 0-7619-9344-4 (U.S. HB).
- Subrata K. Mitra, Mike Enskat, Clemens Spiess (eds.). 2004. Political Parties in South Asia. Greenwood: Praeger.
- "Registration of political Parties". FAQs. Election Commission of India. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
- "Names of Recognised National and State Parties, Registered-unrecognised parties". Election Commission of India. 12 March 2014. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
- "Names of Recognised National and State Parties, Registered-unrecognised parties". Election Commission of India. 16 September 2014. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
- "ECI Notification for Political Parties registered after 16.09.2014 till 26.09.2014". Election Commission of India. 26 September 2014. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
- Data collect from ECI 19-01-2013
- ElectoralLaws-VOL I
- ElectoralLaws-VOL II
- Election Commission of India
- Indian Politician Directory
- JMWT Real Education