Political Parties and Elections Political parties are an established part of modern mass democracy, and the conduct of elections in India is largely dependent on the behaviour of political parties. Although many candidates for Indian elections are independent, the winning candidates for Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections usually stand as members of political parties, and opinion polls suggest that people tend to vote for a party rather than a particular candidate.
Political parties are an established part of modern mass democracy, and the conduct of elections in India is largely dependent on the behaviour of political parties. Although many candidates for Indian elections are independent, the winning candidates for Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections usually stand as members of political parties, and opinion polls suggest that people tend to vote for a party rather than a particular candidate. Parties offer candidates organisational support, and by offering a broader election campaign, looking at the record of government and putting forward alternative proposals for government, help voters make a choice about how the government is run.
Political parties have to be registered with the Election Commission. The Commission determines whether the party is structured and committed to principles of democracy, secularism and socialism in accordance with the Indian Constitution and would uphold the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India. Parties are expected to hold organisational elections and have a written constitution.
According to certain criteria, set by the Election Commission regarding the length of political activity and success in elections, parties are categorised by the Commission as National or State parties, or simply declared registered-unrecognised parties. How a party is classified determines a party’s right to certain privileges, such as access to electoral rolls and provision of time for political broadcasts on the state-owned television and radio stations – All India Radio and Doordarshan – and also the important question of the allocation of the party symbol. Party symbols enable illiterate voters to identify the candidate of the party they wish to vote for. National parties are given a symbol that is for their use only, throughout the country. State parties have the sole use of a symbol in the state in which they are recognised as such Registered-unrecognised parties can choose a symbol from a selection of ‘free’ symbols.
Pressure groups are those informal organisations that come into existence for the protection of special interests and influence the activities of the government by different methods.
Pressure groups are not primarily political in nature. For example, although Rashtriya Swayamak Sangh (RSS) supports the Bharatiya Janata Party, it is, by and large, a cultural organization. The political parties are basically political. Pressure groups do not seek direct power; they only influence those who are in power for moulding decisions in their favour. The political parties seek power to form the government. Pressure groups do not contest elections; they only support political parties of their choice. Political parties nominate candidates, contest elections, and participate in election campaigns. Pressure groups do not necessarily have political ideologies. Political parties are always wedded to their ideologies. For example, the Congress party is wedded to the ideologies of socialism, secularism and democracy; the Communists advocate the interests of workers, peasants and other weaker sections. The interests of the pressure groups are usually specific and particular, whereas the political parties have policies and programmes with national and international ramifications.
At present, the pressure groups in Uttarakhand are so effective that no party can not afford to ignore them directly. Here are some of the most important pressure group active in Uttarakhand. Who are directly and indirectly influencing politics here.
Soldier and ex-serviceman
In Uttarakhand, there are about 1.5 lakh former soldiers-semi-soldiers at this time. The number of soldiers employed in the army is also about three lakhs. If their family members are mixed, then this number is about 15 to 18 lakhs. According to the percentage, it is about 23 percent of the total electorate. This is the reason that the major political parties are trying to attract them through various welfare announcements.
Government, semi-government and private sector employees
At present there are about 1.5 lakh government and fifty thousand corporation employees in the state. Apart from this, the number of employees in the unorganized sector is also in lakhs. It is obvious that this is a group that has direct interference in politics. Prior to the election, the employees’ organizations have bowed down to the government for their demands. The result of their effect is that every political party is joining all the employees’ organizations with them as they try to carry them with them.
State agitating organizations in the state also play an important role in politics. Although their numbers are very low compared to other pressure groups, but the states are emotionally connected to them somewhere. That is why every government reiterates its commitment to the interests of the agitators.
It is a matter of fact that the list of their demands is increasingly long. The recent amendment made by the government regarding the marking of agitators is enough to show their interference in politics. In the coming elections, the political parties are pushing for these organizations to keep up with them.
Students and youth
The youth power of any political party is the most important. For this, all political parties have given the youth organization the most important place in their frontal organizations.
Because the percentage of students, especially the students, is highest in the voters and it is not directly connected to any political party. In view of this, all the parties try to attract the youth to themselves. On the issue of employment, this group will be in a very crucial position this time.
Working and domestic women
According to the state’s current voter list, there are now 35,49776 female voters. These include domestic and working women. Talking about the percentage of total voters, there are 47 percent female voters in the state. Obviously these voters have played a decisive role in any seat.
This is the reason that women are given fair representation in all political parties in general. Female voters live in every party’s top priority. If there is a special leave arrangement for working women, then the attention of the domestic women is kept in the budget.
The number of minorities in the state is 15 per cent of the total population. Despite this, this class remains in the top priority of every political party. The main reason for this is to unilaterally vote for minorities. If this class joins a single party then it increases the chances of winning it.
In view of this, the teams make every effort to attract minorities towards them. There have been many controversial decisions about minorities too. This group will also play a very important role in these elections.
Business groups have also made their place in politics. This group is capable of changing government policies due to its pressure. Regardless of the numerical strength, there is a distinct identity due to the relationship between Dhanbal and all sections of society.
In the two major parties in the state, the persons belonging to the business class are making important positions. By meeting with them, any candidate and political party comes into the main battle. Keeping in mind the business class in the state, many schemes have been going on.
This time there are efforts to seduce them. Their role has once again become extremely important among the claims and counterparts that have been taking place regarding the plans of the Center and the state government.