Types of Political Parties
Political parties in India are classified into two main types:
(1) National and
(2) State parties.
The Election Commission of India is an autonomous, constitutional authority responsible for administering elections. Its headquarter is located in New Delhi.
 Criteria for Recognition:
The Election Commission of India recognizes political parties based on some criteria. The criteria to be recognized as a National or state party is discussed below.
Conditions for Recognition as a National Party:
  • A party that secures atleast \(6%\) of the valid votes in the Lok Sabha election or assembly elections in four states.
  • They must win four seats in Lok sabha from any State/States
  • It has to win\( 2%\) of seats in Lok sabha from atleast three different states in the latest general election.
Conditions for Recognition as a State Party:
  • A party that secures atleast \(6% \)of the valid votes in the state legislative assembly election.
  • They must win one Lok Sabha seat for every \(25 \)seats or atleast 2 seats in the Legislative assembly.
  • Need to win a minimum \(3%\) of the total number of seats in the Legislative Assembly.
Functions of Political Parties:
  • Parties contest elections. In most democracies, elections are fought mainly among the candidates put up by political parties.
  • Parties put forward their policies and programmes before the electorate to consider and choose.
  • Parties play an important role in making laws for a country. Formally, laws are debated and passed in the legislature.
  • Parties form and run the governments. Those parties that lose in the elections play the role of the Opposition to the party or a group of coalition parties in power, by voicing different views and criticising the government for its failures or wrong policies.
  • Parties shape public opinion. They raise and highlight issues of importance.
Opposition Party:
The political party which gets the second largest number of seats next to the majority party is called the Opposition party. A strong opposition is vital for the operation of democracy. The leader of the opposition party enjoys the rank of Cabinet Minister.
Importance of Opposition party:
  • The opposition party analyze and examine the schemes and bills introduced by the Government.
  • They raise their voice on the failures and wrong policies of the ruling party.
  • They highlight important issues which the Government does not act upon.
  • The Opposition Parties reflect the people's demands and concern of the people to play a constructive role in a democracy.
  • The opposition party checks the autocratic tendencies of the ruling party.