India Information >> Polity >> Political System

India is the world's largest democracy, and every adult citizen can exercise his or her democratic rights in elections that are held at regular intervals. As like any other democracy, political parties represent different sections among the Indian society and regions. Both the executive branch and the legislative branch of the government are run by the representatives of the political parties who have been elected through the elections. Through the electoral process, the people of India choose which party or coalition of parties gets majority in the lower house and a government can be formed by that party or the coalition.

India has a multi-party system, with a number of national and regional parties. A regional party may gain a majority and rule a particular state. If a political party is recognized in four or more states and is either the ruling party or is in the opposition in these states, it is considered as a National Party. The Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party, Janata Dal, Communist Party of India and Communist Party of India (Marxist) are the prominent National Parties in the Country. Some of these parties have existed before the independence of the country while few of these emerged in post independent years.  Telugu Desam in Andhra Pradesh, Asom Gana Parishad in Assam, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha in Bihar, Maharashtrwad Gomantak Party in Goa, National Conference in Jammu and Kashmir, Muslim League in Kerala, Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, Akali Dal in Punjab, All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu, Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh and All-India Forward Block in West Bengal are the prominent state parties which are the major political players in their respective states. Formation of coalition governments reflects the transition in Indian politics away from the national parties toward smaller "Regional parties". 

Political parties are an established part of modern democracy and have to be registered with "The Election Commission of India". The Commission ensures inner party democracy in their functioning by insisting upon them to hold their organizational elections at periodic intervals. Political parties so registered with it are granted recognition at the State and National levels by the Election Commission on the basis of their poll performance at general elections according to prescribed criteria. The Election Commission also ensures a level playing field for the political parties in election fray, through strict observance by them of a Model Code of Conduct evolved with the consensus of political parties.

For additional details of the role and functions of the Election Commission of India, please visit

Links to apex bodies and organizations 

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)

Central Information Commission

Central Vigilance Commission (CVC)

Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG)

Election Commission of India

National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC)

National Commission for Minorities (NCM) 

National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) 

National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST)

National Commission for Women (NCW) 

National Commission on Population 

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) 

National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC) 

Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser 

Planning Commission 

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) 

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)

Armed Forces of India