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Differences Between Regional and National Political Parties

Posted by Admin on April 11, 2014 | 2 Comments to Read

Endowed with a multi-party system, India has nurtured many a political parties over the last six decades. While some parties emerged for a brief stint, the others continued to expand their ambit of influence.

Differences Between Regional and National Political Parties

You may have heard of the Akali Dal in Punjab and Telugu Desam Party in Andhra Pradesh. Similarly, Shiv Sena of Maharashtra and Samajwadi Party of Uttar Pradesh occupy quite a significant chunk of Indian political landscape as of now. These are the regional parties as their influence is confined to a particular state or region. However, national parties such as Congress, BJP, and CPM also have a stronghold across several states. For politically conscious citizens, it is vital to know what other factors differentiate a national party from a state party and what attributes decide their stature.

Fundamental Difference between Regional and National Political Parties

It is to be noted that a national party takes up issues of national as well as international interest, whereas a regional political party takes care of the regional concerns and promotes the state’s interests only. Unlike the national parties, they advocate greater autonomy for states.

Attributes of a Regional Political Party

Election Commission has laid down the eligibility criteria for an entity to be recognised as a state political party. To get the recognition, a party has to bag at least 6% of the total votes given in that state during the general elections or the assembly elections. Moreover, the party should win at least two seats in the Legislative Assembly. Or, the political party has to grab at least 3% of the total seats in the state Legislative Assembly or get minimum three seats in the Assembly, whichever is more.

Attributes of a National Political Party

According to the Election Commission of India, a political party can graduate into a National party if it manages to get minimum 6% of the valid votes registered in any four or more states during the Lok Sabha elections or the assembly elections in the respective states.

On top of that, the party has to win at least four seats in the Lok Sabha from a single state or more than one state. If that doesn’t happen, it has to aim at getting at least 2% seats in the Lok Sabha (which means 11 out of the existing 543 seats). These 11 members should be elected from at least three different states.


  • Election Commission of India Website