India’s Parliamentary Democracy has fostered a multi-party system where political entities gain national or regional status based on their electoral performance. This distinction shapes the divergent agendas of these parties, reflecting their respective voter bases and demands.

Regional Parties: Advocates of State Autonomy

Political & Social Reasons:

  • Leverage regional presence and employ social engineering tactics to attract caste-based votes.
  • Example – DMK’s legislation against NEET in Tamil Nadu and the demand for caste-based census by parties like RJD and JDU.

Financial Reasons:

  • Conditional financial devolution from the center, often tied with restrictions.
  • Centrally Sponsored Schemes impose shared expenditures, reducing states’ autonomy; states like West Bengal, Telangana, and Odisha withdrew from PMJAY due to this.
  • Regional parties in less prosperous states push for special status to enhance growth prospects.

Administrative Reasons:

  • Critique misuse of the Concurrent List by national parties at the center.
  • Highlight misuse of central agencies such as AIS officers, CBI, ED, and Income Tax.
  •  Express concern about the politicization of Governor’s offices.

National Parties: Advocates of Centralisation

Political Reasons:

  • Draw support from a broader voter base, granting them national presence.
  • Prioritize issues distinct from regional parties, like advocating simultaneous elections.

Financial Reasons:

  • Wield greater financial control through influencing the Annual Budget and following the Finance Commission’s recommendations.
  • Attract more substantial corporate political funding.

Administrative Reasons:

  • Align with the nature of Indian polity, which balances a robust central authority with state independence.
  • Governors often function as center-aligned agents, influencing matters including law and order in states.

The interplay between national and regional parties underscores the heart of India’s Parliamentary system, ensuring the perpetuation of quasi-federal politics. This intricate balance reflects the nation’s diversity and the necessity for responsive governance to cater to the varied needs of its citizens.

Legacy Editor Changed status to publish June 18, 2024