Role of Regional Parties

Features of Regional Parties

  • operates within a particular state or specific region
  • electoral base is limited to a single region
  • articulates regional interests and identifies itself with a particular cultural, religious, linguistic or ethnic group
  • concerned with exploiting the local resources of discontent or preserving a variety of primordial demands
  • focuses on local or regional issues
  • no inclination to expand and control the central government
  • political desire for greater regional autonomy of states

Classification of Regional Parties

  • based on the regional culture or ethnicity-Shiromani Akali Dal, National Conference, DMK, AIADMK, Telugu Desam, ShivSena
  • all-India outlook but lack a national electoral base-National Lok Dal, All-India Forward Bloc, Revolutionary Socialist Party, Samajwadi Party, Nationalist Congress Party.

    Influence of the Regional Parties in the Elections
    Role of Regional Parties
  • formed by a split in national parties-Bangla Congress, Bharatiya Kranti Dal, Utkal Congress, Kerala Congress, Telangana Praja Samithi, Biju Janata Dal, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Janata Party, Samajwadi Janata Party, Samata Party, Trinamool Congress, YSR Congress
  • formed by individual leaders on the basis of their charismatic personality-Lok Janshakti Party, Haryana Vikas Party,
    Himachal Vikas Congress, Congress (J)

Rise of Regional Parties

  • Cultural and ethnic pluralism
  • Economic disparities and regional imbalances
  • Desire of certain sections or areas
  • Self-interest of the deposed Maharajas and dispossessed Zamindars
  • Failure of national politics to meet the regional aspirations
  • Reorganisation of states on the basis of language
  • Charismatic personality of the regional leaders.
  • Factional fights within the larger parties
  • Centralising tendencies of the congress party.
  • Absence of a strong opposition party at the central level.
  • Role of caste and religion in the political process.
  • Alienation and discontentment among the tribal groups

Role of Regional Parties

  • better governance and a stable government
  • posed a challenge to the one-party dominant system in the country
  • strong impact on the nature and course of centre-state relations
  • made politics more competitive and popular participation in the political process
  • widened the choice for voters in both the parliamentary and assembly elections
  • increased the political consciousness of the people and also their interest in politics
  • check against the dictatorial tendencies of the central government
  • significant contribution for the success fullfunctioning of parliamentary democracy
  • succeeded in exposing the partisan role of the Governors in the appointment and dismissal of the Chief Minister
  • joined the coalition governments formed at the centre and shared power with the national parties

Dysfunctions of Regional Parties

  • neglected the implications and consequences of their narrow approach to the resolution of national issues
  • encouraged regionalism, casteism, linguism, communalism and tribalism
  • responsible for the un-resolution of the inter-state water disputes, inter-state border disputes
  • indulged in corruption, nepotism, favouritism and other forms of mis utilisation of power
  • focused more on the populist schemes and measures to expand and strengthen their electoral base

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