Political Parties Class 10 Civics Chapter 6 Extra Questions and Answers

CBSE Class 10 Civics Chapter 6 Political Parties Extra Questions and Answers is available here. Students can learn and download PDF of these questions for free. These extra questions and answers are prepared by our expert teachers as per the latest NCERT textbook and guidelines. Learning these questions will help you to score excellent marks in the board exams.

Political Parties Class 10 Extra Questions Civics Chapter 6

Very Short Answer Questions

1. What is the concept of political parties in rural areas?

Answer: If we travel to remote parts of our country and speak to the less educated citizens, we could come across people who may not know anything about our constitution or about the nature of our government. But chances are that they would know something about our political parties.

2. What do you understand by partisan?

Answer: A person who is strongly committed to a party, group or faction.

3. What do you understand by ‘Partisanship’?

Answer: It is marked by a tendency to take a side and inability to take a balanced view on an issue.

4. What are the components of a political party? [CBSE (AI) 2016]

Answer: (i) The leaders
(ii) The active members
(iii) The followers

5. How do parties contribute in the making of law?

Answer: Formally, laws are debated and passed in the legislature. But since most of the members belong to a party, they go by the direction of the party leadership, irrespective of their personal opinions.

6. How do parties run the government of a country?

Answer: Parties recruit leaders, train them and then make them ministers to run the government in the way they want.

7. What is the role of opposition in a democracy?

Answer: Opposition parties voice different views and criticise the government for its failures or wrong policies.

8. Is it true that political parties shape public opinion? Explain.

Answer: Yes, it is true as parties sometimes also launch movements for the resolution of problems faced by people. Often opinions in the society crystallise on the lines parties take.

9. How much accountable are the parties to the people of any country?

Answer: Parties have to be responsive to people’s needs and demands. Otherwise people can reject those parties in the next election.

10. At what level, there are non-party based elections in our country?

Answer: Non-party based elections are held in panchayats of many states in India.

11. How does it affect the Panchayat system?

Answer: Although, the parties do not contest formally, it is generally noticed that the village gets split into more than one faction, each of which puts up a ‘panel’ of its candidates.

12. Why do larger societies need representative democracy?

Answer: As societies became large and complex, they also need some agency to gather different views on various issues and to present these to the government. They need some ways to bring various representatives together so that a responsible government can be formed.

13. Why are parties a necessary condition for a democracy?

Answer: People need a mechanism to support or restrain the government, make policies, justify and oppose them. Political parties fulfil all these needs. So, we can say that parties are a necessary condition for a democracy.

14. What is one-party system?

Answer: In some countries, only one party is allowed to control and run the government. It is called one party system. E.g., China.

15. Is it democratic to have one-party system?

Answer: (i) We cannot consider one-party system as a good option because this is not democratic option.
(ii) Any democratic system must allow at least two parties to compete in elections and provide a fair chance for the competing parties to come to power.

16. Which organization does recognize ‘Political Parties’ in India? [CBSE (Comptt) 2017]

Answer: Political Parties in India are recognized by: Election Commission

17. What is a Bi-party system?

Answer: In some countries, power usually changes between two main parties. Such a party system is called bi-party system. E.g., UK and USA.

18. What is a multi-party system?

Answer: If several parties compete to power and more than two parties have a reasonable chance of coming to power either on their own strength or in alliance with others, we call it a multi-party system.

19. Why did India adopt multi-party system? [CBSE (AI) 2016]

Answer: (i) India is a large country and has social and geographical diversities.
(ii) It is easy to absorb different diversities in a multi-party system.

20. What is an ‘alliance’ or a ‘front’?

Answer: When several parties in a multi-party system join hands for the purpose of contesting elections and winning power, it is called an alliance or a front.

21. Name three major alliances of India.

Answer: (i) The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) formed by BJP.
(ii) The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) formed by Congress I.
(iii) Left Front formed by Communist Parties of India.

22. Give one merit of multi-party system.

Answer: This system allows a variety of interests and opinions to enjoy political representation.

23. Give one demerit of multi-party system.

Answer: The multi-party system often appears very messy and leads to a political instability.

24. How does a country choose a party system?

Answer: It evolves over a long time, depending on the nature of a society, its social and regional divisions, its history of politics and its system of elections.

25. Why did India choose to have a multi-party system?
OR
Examine the reason to accept multi-party system in India. [CBSE (F) 2017]

Answer: India has evolved a multi-party systems because the social and geographical diversity in such a large country is not easily absorbed by two or even three parties.

26. What are national parties?

Answer: There are some country-wide parties, which are called national parties. All these units follow the same policies, programmes and strategy that are decided at the national level.

27. Define ‘regional parties’ on the basis of election commission of India.

Answer: A party that secures at least six percent of the total votes in an election to the Legislative Assembly of a state and wins at least two seats is recognised as a state party.

28. How is a party recognised as ‘national party’ by the Election Commission of India?

Answer: A party that secures at least six percent of total votes in Lok Sabha elections or assembly elections in four states and wins at least four seats in Lok Sabha is recognised as a national party.

29. When was INC formed? What is its symbol?

Answer: Indian National Congress was formed in 1885. Its symbol is ‘hand’.

30. Which coalition was formed by INC?

Answer: United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coalition government was formed by INC for the government at the centre.

31. When was BJP founded? What is its symbol?

Answer: BJP was founded in 1980. Its symbol is lotus.

32. Which coalition alliance was formed by BJP?

Answer: National Democratic Alliance (NDA) coalition was formed by BJP for forming government at the centre level.

33. When was BSP formed? What is its symbol?

Answer: Bahujan Samaj Party was formed in 1984. Its symbol is Elephant.

34. Which classes are represented by BSP?

Answer: It seeks to represent and secure power for the Bahujan Samaj which includes the dalits, adivasis, OBCs and religious minorities.

35. Name the ‘National Parties’ of India.

Answer: (i) Indian National Congress
(ii) Bhartiya Janata Party
(iii) Bahujan Samaj Party
(iv) Communist Party of India (Marxist)
(v) Communist Party of India (CPI)
(vi) National Congress Party (NCP)

36. Name any two regional political parties of U.P. (Uttar Pradesh). [CBSE (F) 2017]

Answer: Two Regional Political Parties of UP
(i) S. P. (Samajvadi Party)
(ii) Rastriya Lok Dal

37. Name the regional parties of Jammu and Kashmir with its symbols.

Answer: (i) Jammu and Kashmir National Conference – Bird
(ii) Jammu and Kashmir National Panther Party – Cycle
(iii) Jammu and Kashmir People’s Democratic Party – Ink-pot and Pen

38. Name regional parties of Punjab, Haryana and Uttarakhand with symbols.

Answer: (i) Uttarakhand Kranti Dal – Chair
(ii) Punjab Shiromani Akali Dal – Weighing-scale
(iii) Haryana Lok Dal – Spectacles

39. Name regional parties of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka with their symbols.

Answer: (i) Maharashtra – Maharashtra Shiv Sena—Bow and Arrow
(ii) Goa – Goa United Goan Democratic Party—Two leaves.
(iii) Karnataka – Janta Dal (Secular) – A lady farmer carrying paddy on her head.

40. Name regional parties of Tamil Nadu with symbols.

Answer: (i) All India Anna Dmk – Two leaves
(ii) Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam – Rising Sun
(iii) Pattali Makkai Katchi – Mango
(iv) Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam – Spinning Top

41. Name regional parties of West Bengal with symbols.

Answer: (i) Forward Block – Lion
(ii) Revolutionary Socialist Party – Spade and Shovel
(iii) Trinamool Congress – A pair of flowers

42. Name regional parties of Bihar with their symbols.

Answer: (i) Janata Dal (U) – Arrow
(ii) Lok Jan Shakti Party – A hut
(iii) Rashtriya Janata Dal – Kerosene Lamp

43. Name regional parties of Andhra, Orissa and Sikkim with their symbols.

Answer: (i) Andhra Pradesh – Telugu Desam – A Bicycle
(ii) Andhra – Telangana Rashtra Samiti – A Car
(iii) Odisha – Biju Janta Dal – Sea Shell
(iv) Sikkim – Sikkim Democratic front – Umbrella

44. Name regional parties of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh with their symbols.

Answer: (i) Assam – Assam United Democratic Party – Lock and Key
(ii) Asom Gana Parishad – Elephant
(iii) Arunachal – Arunachal Congress – Two swords

45. How do money and muscle power tend to help the contestant of the elections?

Answer: Rich people and companies who give funds to the parties tend to have influence on the policies and decisions of the party.

46. It is said that, “No meaningful choice is given to the voters.” Explain.

Answer: It means, in recent years, there has been a decline in the ideological differences among parties in most parts of the world. Parties are no longer significantly different. Sometimes people cannot even elect very different leaders either, because the same set of leaders keep shifting from one party to another. For example, the difference between the labour party and the conservative party in Britain is very low.

47. What is ‘defection’?

Answer: Changing party allegiance from the party on which a person got elected (to a legislative body) to a different party.

48. What order is passed by Supreme Court to reduce the influence of money and criminals?

Answer: Now it is mandatory for every candidate who contests elections to file an affidavit giving details of his property and criminal cases pending against him. This new system has made a lot of information available to the public.

49. If all the decisions of a political party are made by a single family and all other members are neglected, then what challenge is being faced by that party?

Answer: If all the decisions of a political party are made by a single family and all other members are neglected, then it is a challenge of dynastic succession.

50. Name any one political party that has national level political organisation but not recognised as the national political party. [CBSE Delhi 2016]

Answer: The political party that has national level political organization but not recognized as the National Party: Samajwadi Party/Samata Party/Rashtriya Janta Dal.

51. Why is one party political system not considered a good democratic system? [CBSE (F) 2016]

Answer: One party system has no democratic option.

Short Answer Type Questions (3 Marks)

1. What is meant by dynastic succession in politics?

Answer: A rule in which the family’s generation rules. Lack of internal democracy and elections leads to dynastic succession in leadership. Nepotism arises as top leaders prefer to have their family members as successors, thereby the members who work at the grassroots are neglected.

2. Assess the importance of political parties in democracy. [CBSE (F) 2017]

Answer: Importance of Political Parties:
(i) Parties contest elections to form government.
(ii) Parties put forward different policies and programmes and the voters choose from them.
(iii) A party reduces a vast multitude of opinions into a few basic positions which it supports.
(iv) Parties play a decisive role in making laws for a country.
(v) Parties recruit leaders, trains them and then make them ministers to run the Government.
(vi) Parties provide people access to government machinery and welfare schemes implemented by governments.

3. What is a multi-party system? Why has India adopted a multi-party system? Explain. [CBSE 2015]

Answer: (i) If several parties compete for power, and more than two parties have a reasonable chance of coming to power either on their own strength or in alliance with other, we call it a multiparty system.

(ii) India has evolved a multi-party system. It is because the social and geographical diversity in such a large country is not easily absorbed by two or even three parties.

(iii) Party system is not something any country can choose. It evolves over a long time depending on the nature of society, its social and regional divisions, its history of politics and its system of elections.

4. “Political Parties are a necessary condition for a democracy.” Analyse the statement with examples. [CBSE (Comptt) 2017]

Answer: Political parties are necessary condition for a democracy:

If political parties don’t exist then –

(i) Every candidate in the elections will be independent.

(ii) No one will be able to make any promise to the people about any major policy changes.

(iii) The government may be formed, but its utility will remain ever uncertain.

(iv) Elected representatives will be accountable to their constituency for what they do in the locality.

(v) No one will be responsible for how the country will be run.

(vi) Political parties are important for representative democracies as they bring representatives together to form the government.

(vii) It consists of people seeking to achieve their objectives through constitutional means and aims at promoting national interest.

5. What is the difference between a national party and a state party?

Answer: There are three major differences between a national party and regional/state party:

(i) National parties have influence all over the country or in several states of India. The influence of a state party is limited to a state or region.

(ii) National parties take interest in national as well as international issues; whereas regional or state parties are interested in promoting regional/state interest only.

(iii) The national parties have to harmonise the national as well as state interests; whereas state parties usually stand for greater autonomy for states.

6. What is the role of the opposition party in a democracy? [CBSE (AI) 2017]

Answer: Those parties that lose elections play the role of opposition to the parties in power. Role played by opposition is:

(i) It gives its own opinion which may oppose the ruling party.

(ii) Opposition party mobilises opposition to the government.

(iii) It puts its different views in the parliament and criticises the government for its failures or wrong policies.

(iv) By doing this, it can keep a check on the ruling party, which is made to move on the track.

7. Give one merit and one demerit of a single-party system.

Answer: Merit: There is no competition between parties but there is competition between candidates.

Demerit: One-party system is not a democratic option. Any democratic country must allow at least two parties to compete.

8. What are the major differences between the policies of CPI(M) and CPI?

Answer:

Policies of CPI (M)Policies of CPI
Accepts democratic elections as a useful and helpful means for securing the objective of socio-economic justice in India.Accepts parliamentary democracy as a means of promoting the interests of the working class, farmers and the poor.
Critical of the new economic policies that allow free flow of foreign capital and goods into the country.Opposed to the force of secessionism and communalism.
It was formed in 1964.It was formed in 1925.

9. What are the main components of a political party?

Answer: (i) The leaders: A political party consists of leaders who contest elections and if they win, perform the administrative job.

(ii) The active members: They are the ones who climb a ladder from being the follower and become the assistants of the leaders to gain knowledge about the politics.

(iii) The followers: They are simply the ardent followers of the leaders and work under the able guidance of the active members.

10. How do parties perform the job of making laws for the country?

Answer: Parties play a decisive role in making laws for a country. Formally, laws are debated in the form of first, second and third readings and then by popular voting, the bill is passed. But since most of the members belong to a party, they follow what their leader says, irrespective of their personal opinions.

11. How is a government of alliances formed?

Answer: When several parties in a multi-party system join hands for the purpose of contesting elections and winning power, it is called an alliance or front. In India, there were three major alliances in 2004 parliamentary elections.

These were the National Democratic Alliance or NDA formed by BJP and its allies. Then the United Progressive Alliance or UPA led by Congress and its allies. The third one was the Left Front, which is formed by Communists or their parties like CPI and CPI(M).

12. How does a country choose a party system?

Answer: Party system is not something any country can choose:
(i) It evolves over a long time, depending on the nature of its society, its social and regional divisions, its history of politics and its system of elections.
(ii) These cannot be changed very quickly.
(iii) Each country develops a party system that is conditioned by its special circumstances. No system is ideal for all countries and all situations.

13. “Lack of internal democracy within parties is the major challenge to political parties all over the world.” Analyse the statement. [CBSE 2015]
Or
In what way lack of internal democracy is seen in the political parties?

Answer: All over the world, there is a tendency of political parties towards the concentration of power in one or few leaders at the top. Parties do not keep membership register. They do not regularly hold organisational meetings. They do not conduct interval elections regularly. Ordinary members of the party do not have sufficient information as to what happens inside the party. As a result, the leaders assume greater power to make decisions in the name of the party.

14. What suggestions are often made to reform political parties?
OR
Suggest any five effective measures to reform political parties. [CBSE (AI) 2016]

Answer: A law should be made to regulate the internal affairs of political parties. It should be made compulsory for political parties to maintain a register of its members, to follow its own constitution, to act as a judge in case of party disputes and to hold open elections to the highest post. It should be made mandatory for political parties to give minimum number of tickets, about one-third to the women candidates.

There should be state funding of elections. The government should give parties money to support their election expenses. This support can be given in a way like; petrol, paper, telephone, etc. Or, it could be given in cash on the basis of votes, secured by the party in the last elections. It should be mandatory to hold their organisational elections.

People can put pressure on political parties through petitions, publicity and agitation. Parties should reduce the influence of money and criminals. The parties should select candidates for contesting elections who have good record.

15. The first challenge faced by political parties is lack of internal democracy within parties. What do you understand by the statement? Explain. [CBSE Sample Paper 2016]

Answer: (i) All over the world there is a tendency in political parties towards the concentration of power in one or few leaders at the top.

(ii) Parties do not keep membership registers, do not hold organisational meetings, and do not conduct internal elections regularly.

(iii) Ordinary members of the party do not get sufficient information on what happens inside the party.

(iv) They do not have the means or the connections needed to influence the decisions. As a result, the leaders assume greater power to make decisions in the name of the party.

(v) Since one or few leaders exercise paramount power in the party, those who disagree with the leadership find it difficult to continue in the party.

(vi) More than loyalty to party principles and policies, personal loyalty to the leader becomes more important.

16. What is meant by a ‘national political party’? State the conditions required to be a national political party. [CBSE Delhi 2016]

Answer: National Political Party have units in the various states, they follow the same policies, programmes and strategy that is decided at the national level.

Conditions required:
(i) A party that secures at least 6% of the total votes in general elections of Lok Sabha or assembly elections in four states.
(ii) Wins at least 4 seats in Lok Sabha.

17. “Nearly every one of the state parties wants to get an opportunity to be a part of one or the other national level coalition.” Support the statement with arguments. [CBSE Delhi 2016]

Answer: State parties seeking National level coalition: Before general election of 2014, in three general elections, no one national party was able to secure on its own a majority in Lok Sabha. With the result, the national parties were compelled to form alliances with state or regional parties. Since 1996, nearly every one of the state parties has got an opportunity to be a part of one or the other national level coalition government. This has contributed to the strengthening of federalism and democracy.

18. What is meant by regional political party? State the conditions required to be recognised as a ‘regional political party’. [CBSE (AI) 2016]

Answer: A regional Party is a party that is present only in some states.

Conditions required for a party to be recognised as a regional political party are:
(i) A party that secures at least six per cent of the total votes in an election to the legislative Assembly of a state.
(ii) Party should win atleast two seats in the Legislative Assembly

19. What is a political party? State any two points of the ideology of Bhartiya Janata Party. [CBSE (F) 2016]

Answer: A political party is a group of people who come together to contest elections and hold power in the government. They agree on some policies and programmes for the society with a view to promote the collective good ideology of BJP:

(i) Wants full territorial and political integration of Jammu and Kashmir with India.
(ii) A uniform civil code for all people living in the country irrespective of religion.
(iii) Cultural nationalism.

Long Answer Type Questions (5 Marks)

1. Why does modern democracies could not exist without political parties?

Answer: (i) We can understand the necessity of political parties by imagining a situation without parties. Every candidate in the elections will be independent. So no one will be able to make any promises to the people about any major policy changes.

(ii) Elected representatives will be accountable to their constituencies for what they do in the locality. But no one will be responsible for how the country runs.

(iii) India also has non-party based elections to the panchayats in many states. Although parties do not contest formally, it is generally noticed that the village splits into more than one faction, each of which puts up a ‘panel’ of its candidates. This is exactly what the party does. That is why, we have political parties in almost all the countries in the world.

(iv) The rise of political parties is directly linked to the emergence of representative democracies. Large-scale societies need representative democracy. Large societies need some way to bring various representatives together so that a responsible government can be formed.

Thus we can say that parties are a necessary condition for a democracy.

2. Describe the various party systems existing in different countries.

Answer:
(i) One-party system:
(a) In some countries, only one party is allowed to control and run the government. It is called one-party system.
(b) We cannot consider one-party system as a good option because this is not a democratic option.
(c) Any democratic system must allow at least two parties to compete in elections and provide a fair chance for the competing parties to come to power.
Example: Communist Party of China.

(ii) Two-party system:
(a) In some countries, power usually changes between two main parties.
(b) Here, only the two main parties have a serious chance of winning majority seats to form the government.
Example: USA and UK.

(iii) Multi-party system:
(a) If several parties compete for power and more than two parties have a reasonable chance of coming to power, either on their own or in alliance with others, it is called a multi-party system.
(b) The multi-party system often appears very messy and leads to political instability.
(c) At the same time, this system allows a variety of interests and opinions to enjoy political representation.
Example: India.
Major Coalitions—NDA, UPA, Left Front.

3. Describe the role of Political Parties in Indian Democracy. [CBSE (Comptt) 2017]

Answer: Role of Political Parties:
(i) The Political party or parties with majority seats form and run the government.
(ii) They contest elections and put forward different policies and programmes among which the voters opt.
(iii) They play a decisive role in law making for the country.
(iv) They also play an important role as opposition parties.
(v) They play an important role in shaping public opinion.
(vi) They provide people access to government machinery and welfare schemes.

4. What are recognised political parties?

Answer: (i) National parties are some countrywide parties and almost follow similar policies and programmes at the national level.

(ii) Every party in the country has to register with the Election Commission. The Commission offers some special facilities to the large and established parties. These parties are given a unique symbol—only the official candidates of that party can use that election symbol.

(iii) Parties that get this privilege and some other special facilities are ‘recognised’ by the Election Commission for this purpose. That is why these parties are called ‘Recognised Political Parties’.

(iv) The Election Commission has laid down detailed criteria of the proportion of votes and seats that a party must get in order to be a recognised party.

5. What are the main policies of Indian National Congress?

Answer: (i) It was founded in 1885 and played a dominant role in Indian politics at the national and state level for several decades after India’s independence.

(ii) A centrist party in its ideology, it favours secularism and welfare of weaker sections and minorities. It supports new economic reforms but with a human face.

(iii) It emerged as the largest party with 145 members in the Lok Sabha elections held in 2004. It led the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coalition government at the Centre.

(iv) It lost elections in 2014 and secured 44 seats. Currently, it is the principal opposition party in Lok Sabha.

6. What are the main features of BJP manifesto?

Answer: (i) It was founded in 1980 by reviving Bharatiya Jana Sangh.

(ii) It wants to build a strong and modern India by drawing inspiration from India’s ancient culture and values. Cultural nationalism is an important element of its manifesto.

(iii) It wants full territorial and political integration of Jammu & Kashmir with India.

(iv) It also promotes a Uniform Civil Code for all people living in the country, irrespective of religion and ban on religious conversions.

7. Who formed BSP? What are its main policies?

Answer:

  • BSP was formed in 1984 under the leadership of Shri Kanshi Ram.
  • It seeks to represent and secure power for the bahujan samaj which includes dalits, adivasis, OBCs and religious minorities.
  • It draws inspiration from the ideas and teachings of Sahu Maharaj, Mahatma Phule, Periyar, Ramaswami Naiker and Babasaheb Ambedkar.
  • It stands for the cause of securing the interests and welfare of the dalits and oppressed people.
  • It has its main base in UP and substantial presence in neighbouring states like Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Delhi and Punjab.
  • It formed government in UP several times by taking the support of different parties at different times.

8. What do you know about Communist Party of India (CPI)?

Answer:

  • It was formed in 1925 and believes in Marxism, Leninism, secularism and democracy.
  • It opposed the forces of secessionism and communalism.
  • It accepts parliamentary democracy as a means of promoting the interests of working class, farmers and the poor.
  • It became independent after the split in the party in 1964 that led to the formation of CPI(M).
  • It has significant presence in Kerala, West Bengal, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
  • It advocates the coming together of all Left Front. Currently, it supports UPA government from outside.

9. Define Political Party. Describe any four challenges before the political parties in India. [CBSE (Comptt) 2017]

Answer: A political party is a group of people to contest election and hold power in the government.
Challenges before political parties in India:
(i) Lack of internal democracy.
(ii) Lack of transparency.
(iii) Dynastic succession
(iv) Money and muscle power
(v) Lack of meaningful choice.

10. What are the chief characteristics of Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)?

Answer:

  • It was founded in 1964 and believes in Marxism and Leninism.
  • It supports socialism, secularism and democracy and opposes imperialism and communalism.
  • It accepts democratic elections as a useful and helpful means for securing the objective of socio-economic justice in India.
  • Enjoys strong support in West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura, especially among the poor factory workers, farmers, agricultural labourers and intelligentsia.
  • Always critical of the new economic policies that allow free flow of foreign capital and goods into the country.
  • It had been in power in West Bengal without a break for 30 years and currently supports the UPA government from outside, without joining the government.

11. How was Nationalist Congress Party formed? What are its policies?

Answer: It was formed in 1999 following a split in the Congress Party.

  • It supports democracy, Gandhian secularism, equality, social justice and federalism.
  • It wants that high offices in government should be confined to natural born citizens of the country.
  • A major party in Maharashtra and has a significant presence in Meghalaya, Manipur and Assam.
  • It’s a coalition partner in Maharashtra government with Congress.
  • Since 2004, it is also a member of United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

12. What is the status of regional parties in India?

Answer: Some of the regional parties have succeeded only in some states. Parties like the Samajwadi Party, Samata Party and Rashtriya Janata Dal have national level political organisation with units in several states. Over the years, the number and strength of these parties have expanded. No single national party is able to secure majority on its own in Lok Sabha. As a result, the national parties are compelled to form alliances with state parties. Since 1996, nearly every one of the state parties got an opportunity to be a part of one or the other national level coalition government. This has contributed to the strengthening of federalism and democracy in our country.

13. Elucidate some of the recent efforts taken in our country to reform political parties and its leaders. [CBSE Delhi 2017, CBSE Sample Paper 2016]
OR
Examine any two institutional amendments made by different institutions to reform political parties and their leaders. [CBSE (F) 2016]

Answer: The Constitution was amended to prevent elected MLAs and MPs from changing parties. This was done because many elected representatives were indulging in DEFECTION in order to become ministers or for cash rewards. Now, if any MLA or MP changes parties, he or she will lose the seat in the legislature.

The Supreme Court passed an order to reduce the influence of money and criminals. Now, it is mandatory for every candidate who contests elections to file an AFFIDAVIT giving details of his property and criminal cases pending against him. The new system has made a lot of information available to the public. But there is no system of check if the information given by the candidates is true.

The Election Commission passed an order making it necessary for political parties to hold their organisational elections and file their income tax returns. The parties have started doing so but sometimes it is mere formality. It is not clear if this step has led to greater internal democracy in political parties.

14. “All over the world, people express their dissatisfaction with the failure of political parties to perform their functions well.” Analyse the statement with arguments. [CBSE Delhi 2016]

Answer: Popular dissatisfaction and criticism: It has focused on four areas in the working of political parties, need to face and overcome these challenges in order to remain effective instruments of democracy. Lack of internal democracy within parties. Dynastic succession. Growing role of money and muscle power in parties. There is not a meaningful choice to the voters.

HOTS Questions (Higher Order Thinking Skills)

1. “Political parties are a necessary condition for a democracy”. Analyse the statement with examples. [CBSE (AI) 2016]
OR
“About hundred years ago there were a few countries that had hardly any political party. Now, there are a few countries that do not have political parties.” Examine this statement.

Answer: Political parties are necessary condition for a democracy.

(i) Without political parties democracies cannot exist.

(ii) If we do not have political parties – in such a situation every candidate in elections will be independent.

(iii) No one will be able to make any promises to the people about any major policy changes.

(iv) The rise of political parties is directly linked to the emergence of representative democracies. As we have seen, large societies need representative’s democracy.

(v) The government may be formed but its utility will remain uncertain. They needed same ways to bring various representatives together so that a responsible government could be formed.

(vi) They needed some mechanisms to support or restrain the government, make policies, justify or oppose them.

(vii) Elected representatives will be accountable to their constituency for what they do in their locality.

(viii) Political parties play a decisive role in making laws for a country. Formally laws are debated and passed in the legislature in which ruling party plays a major role.

(ix) Parties form and run governments. Parties recruit leaders, train them and then make them ministers to run the government in the way they want.

(x) Those parties that lose in the elections play the role of opposition to the parties in power, by voicing different views and criticising for its failure or wrong policies.

(xi) Parties shape public opinions. They raise and highlight issues. Parties have lakhs of members and activists spread all over the country. Parties sometimes also launch movements for the resolution of problems faced by people.

(xii) But no one will be responsible for how the country will run.

(xiii) The role of opposition party in a democracy necessiates the existence of political parties.

(xiv) As societies become large and complex, they also needed some agencies to gather different views on various issues and to present these to the government, that is why political parties are needed.

(xv) Political parties fulfil these needs that every representative government has. We can say that parties are necessary condition for a democracy.

The problem of bad politics can be solved by more and better politics.

2. What is the role of an ordinary citizen in reforming the political parties?
OR
Examine critically the role of an ordinary citizen in strengthening and deepening democracy.

Answer: (i) People can put pressure on political parties. This can be done through petitions, publicity and agitations. Ordinary citizens, pressure groups, movements and the media can play an important role.

(ii) In a democracy, everybody has been given the right to speak, right to express his ideas and right to agitate.

(iii) Political parties can improve if those who are interested, also join the political parties. The quality of democracy depends on the degree of public participation.

(iv) If political parties feel that they would lose public support by not taking up reforms, they would become more serious about reforms.

It is difficult to reform politics if ordinary citizens do not take part in it and simply criticise it from outside. The problem of bad politics can be solved by more and better politics.

3. Is it true that meaningful choice is not given to the voters?

Answer: Often parties do not seem to offer meaningful choice to voters. In order to offer meaningful choice, parties must be significantly different from each other. In recent years, there has been a decline in the ideological differences among parties in most parts of the world. In our country, the differences among all the major parties on the economic policies have reduced. Those who actually want different policies, have no option available to them. Sometimes, people cannot even elect very different leader either because the same set of leaders keep shifting from one party to another.

4. Analyse the role of political parties in shaping public opinion. [CBSE (F) 2017]

Answer: Role of political parties in shaping public opinion
(i) They raise and highlight issues of public interest.
(ii) Parties have lakhs of members and activists spread over the country.
(iii) Many of the pressure groups are extensions of political parties
(iv) Parties sometimes also launch movement for the resolution of problems faced by people

5. Which three challenges do you feel are being faced by political parties in India? Give your opinion. [CBSE (AI) 2016]

Answer: The three challenges faced by Political parties in India are:

(i) Lack of internal democracy.

(a) All over the world, there is a tendency of political parties towards the concentration of power in one or few leaders at the top.
(b) Parties do not keep membership register.
(c) They do not conduct internal elections regularly.
(d) Ordinary members of the party do not have sufficient information as to what happens inside the party.

(ii) No Transparency

(a) Since most political parties do not practice open and transparent procedures for their functioning, these are very few ways for an ordinary worker to rise to the top in a party.
(b) Those who happen to be the leaders are in a position of unfair advantage to famous people close to them or even their family member.
(c) In many parties, the top positions are always controlled by members of one family.

(iii) Money and Muscle Power

(a) Since parties are focussed only on winning elections, they tend to use short cuts to win elections.
(b) They tend to nominate those candidates who have or can raise a lot of money.
(c) Rich people and companies who give funds to the parties tend to have influence on the policies and decisions of the party.

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