List of political parties in India
India has a multi-party system with a mix of few dominant national parties (mainly INC and recently BJP) and several small regional parties. Political parties that wish to contest local, state or national elections are required to be registered by the Election Commission of India (ECI). Registration with ECI does not ensure recognition as a party. A recognized party has more privileges than a registered unrecognized party.
All parties contesting the elections have 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 an elected government unless President's rule is imposed under certain conditions.
Number of political parties
As on 12 March 2014, following is the count of political parties in India which are registered with the Election Commission of India:
|Total Registered Parties||1687|
A registered party is recognised as a National Party only if it fulfills any of the following three conditions:
- The party wins 2% of seats in the Lok Sabha (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.
Both national and state parties have to fulfill these conditions for all subsequent Lok Sabha or State elections. Else, they lose their status.
|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|
List of state parties
A registered party has to fulfill any of the following conditions for recognition as a State Party:
(i) A political party should secure at least six percent of the total valid votes polled during general election to a State Legislative Assembly and should, in addition, win at least two seats in that Assembly, or the party should win at least three percent of the total number of seats or three seats in the Legislative Assembly, whichever is more;
(ii) Alternatively, a political party should secure at least six percent of the total valid votes polled in a State during a general election to Lok Sabha and win at least one seat in the Lok Sabha from that State, or the party should win at least one seat in the Lok Sabha for every 25 seats or any fraction thereof allotted to that State.
(iii) 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. 
A party recognised in four states gets the status of a National Party. 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. The following are a list of recognised state parties as of 12 January 2014:
Unrecognized Political Parties by Election Commission of India(State wise list)
- 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. March 12, 2014. Retrieved March 15, 2014.
- Data collect from ECI 19-01-2013
- ElectoralLaws-VOL I
- ElectoralLaws-VOL II
- Election Commission of India
- Indian Politician Directory
- JMWT Real Education
- Four parties risk losing national status