Chapter 4 Political Parties Important Questions Class 10 Political Science will help you to be better prepared for tests and exams. It can help to reinforce and strengthen your understanding of the chapter.
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Chapter 4 Political Parties Important Questions and Answers Class 10 Political Science
Chapter 4 Political Parties Very Short Answer Questions (1 Mark)
1. Why do parties sometimes launch movements?
Parties sometimes launch movements for the resolution of problems faced by people.
2. What is the role of opposition in a democracy?
They voice different views and criticise the government for its failures or wrong policies.
3. What do you understand by partisan?
A person who is strongly committed to a party, group or faction.
4. What is one-party system?
A country where only one party is allowed to control and run the government. It is called one- party system.
5. At what level, there are non-party based elections in our country?
Non-party based elections are held in panchayats of many states in India.
6. Why is one party system not considered a good option?
One party system is not considered a good option because this is not a democratic option.
7. What is called an alliance?
When several parties in a multi-party system join hands for the purpose of contesting elections and winning power it is called an alliance.
8. Why do we need at least two parties in a democratic system?
It gives a fair chance to the two parties to compete in elections to come to power.
9. What is a major drawback of the multi-party system?
The multi-party system often appears very messy and leads to political instability.
10. What is ‘defection’?
Changing party allegiance from the party on which a person got elected to a legislative body to a different party.
11. What is the chief objective of Communist Party of India – Marxist (CPI-M)?
The chief objective of CPI-M is to secure socio-economic justice in India.
12. When was Bahujan Samaj Party formed and under whose leadership?
Bahujan Samaj Party was formed in 1984 under the leadership of Kansi Ram.
13. What is the principal concern of Bahujan Samaj Party?
This party’s principal concern is to secure the interest and welfare of the dalits and oppressed people.
14. What are called ‘recognised political parties’?
Parties that get some special facilities from the Election Commission are called ‘recognised political parties’.
15. Which party is recognised as a state party?
A party that secures at least six per cent 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.
Chapter 4 Political Parties Short Answer Questions (3 Marks)
1. What is a recognised party?
(i) Every party in the country has to register with the Election Commission. While the Commission treats all parties equally, it offers some special facilities to large and established parties. These parties are given a unique symbol – only the official candidates of that party can use that election symbol
(ii) 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’.
(iii) 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 either as a national political party or regional/state political party.
2. What is a multi-party system? Why has India adopted a multi-party system? Explain.
(i) If several parties compete for power, and more than two parties have a reasonable chance of coming for power either on their own strength or in alliance with other, we call it a multi-party 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.
3. Analyse the three components of a political party.
(i) The leaders: The leaders contest elections and, if they win, perform the administrative jobs.
(ii) The active members: The active members attend party meetings and are close to the party leaders. They can be called the assistants of the leaders.
(iii) The followers: The followers are the dedicated workers of the party. They work under the able guidance of the active members.
4. “Increase in the number of state parties has strengthened democracy in India”. Explain
(i) Over the last three decades, the number and strength of these parties has expanded. This made the Parliament of India politically more and more diverse.
(ii) No one national party is able to secure on its own a majority 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 has got an opportunity to be a part of one or the other national level coalition government.
(iii) This has contributed to the strengthening of federalism and democracy in our country.
5. Describe any three main features of a two-party system.
(i) Power usually changes between two parties, while other political parties may exist.
(ii) The party that wins the majority forms the government, while the other forms the major opposition.
(iii) Decision-making and implementation is prompt and quick.
(iv) Such a system gives a strong and good opposition.
6. “Political parties play a major role in democracy.” Give three viewpoints to justify this statement.
(i) Political parties reduce a vast multitude of opinions into a few basic positions which it supports. The government is expected to base its policies on the line taken by the ruling party.
(ii) Those parties, that lose the elections, play role of the opposition. They voice different views and criticise government for its failures or wrong policies. Opposition parties also mobilise opposition to the government.
(iii) Political parties shape public opinion by raising and highlighting issues. The political parties put before various problems of the country and try to explain them in an easy way through magazines and meetings.
7. What is the role of the opposition party in a democracy?
(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.
8. How do parties perform the job of making laws for the country?
(i) Parties play a decisive role in making laws for a country.
(ii) Formally, laws are debated in the form of first, second and third readings and then by popular voting, the bill is passed.
(iii) But since most of the members belong to a party, they follow what their leader says, irrespective of their personal opinions.
9. What do you mean by the term ‘defection’? What measures were adopted to prevent this practice?
‘Defection’ in politics means moving of a person from one party to another party for some personal benefit. It means changing party allegiance from the party on which a person got elected to a different party. It happens when a legislature, after having been elected from a particular party leaves it and joins in other party. Measures adopted to prevent this practice:
(i) 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.
(ii) Now, the law says that if any MLA or MP changes parties, he or she will lose seat in the legislature.
(iii) The new law has brought defection down and has made dissent even more difficult. Now MLAs and MPs have to accept whatever party leaders say.
10. “Lack of internal democracy is a challenge to the efficient functioning of India political parties”. Support the statement with examples.
There is lack of internal democracy within parties since power tends to get concentrated in the hands of one or few leaders at the top.
(i) Ordinary members of the party do not get sufficient information on what happens inside the party. 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.
(ii) 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.
(iii) More than loyalty to party principles and policies, personal loyalty to the leaders becomes more important.
11. What is meant by a ‘national political party’? State the conditions required to be a national political party.
National Political Party have units in the various states, they follow the same policies, programmes and strategy that is decided at the national level. The conditions required to be a national political party:
(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.
12. What is meant by regional political party? State the conditions required to be recognised as a ‘regional political party’.
A regional Party is a party that is present only in some states. The 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.
Chapter 4 Political Parties Long Answer Questions (5 Marks)
1. What is a political party?
(i) A political party is a group of people who come together to contest elections and hold power in the government.
(ii) They agree on some policies and programmes for the society with a view to promote
the collective good.
(iii) Since there can be different views on what is good for all parties try to persuade people why their policies are better than others.
(iv) They seek to implement these policies by winning popular support through elections.
(v) Thus, parties reflect fundamental political divisions in a society. Parties are about a part of the society and thus involve partisanship. Thus a party is known by which part it stands for, which policies it supports and whose interests it upholds.
2. Suggest any five political reforms to strengthen democracy.
(i) 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 constitution, to act as a judge in case of party disputes, to hold open elections to the highest posts.
(ii) It should be made mandatory for political parties to give a minimum number of tickets to women.
(iii) Similarly a 33% quota for women can be fixed in the decision making bodies of the party.
(iv) There should be state funding of elections. The government should give parties money to support their election expenses.
(v) Every political party should disclose the source of their income. It should be made compulsory.to prevent this practice.
3. How is dynastic succession a major challenge for political parties in India? Explain.
(i) Usually, an ordinary worker does not rise to the top positions in a party because the functioning of most political parties is not transparent.
(ii) Most of the top leaders favour and choose members of their families. This is unfair to other members.
(iii) The top positions are always controlled by members of one family. This is unhealthy for democracy.
(iv) People who are at top levels usually do no have adequate experience, education or popular support.
(v) The challenge of dynastic succession is related to the challenge of lack of internal democracy. Non-deserving leaders exercise paramount power and make decisions. Those who disagree with the leadership find it difficult to continue in the party.
4. Differentiate between a national parties and regional parties.
|National Parties||Regional parties|
|There are some countrywide parties, which are called ‘national parties’. These parties have their units in various states. But by and large, all these units follow the same policies, programmes and strategy that is decided at the national level.||Most of the major parties of the country are classified by the Election Commission as ‘State parties’. These are commonly referred to as regional parties. Yet these parties need not be regional in their ideology or outlook.|
|A party that secures at least six per cent of the total votes in Lok Sabha elections or Assembly elections in four States and wins at least four seats in the Lok Sabha is recognized as a national party.||A party that secures at least six per cent 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.|
|National party has its influence all over the country.||A regional party is limited to a particular region.|
|National party deals with national problems or issues.||Regional parties give importance to regional issues.|
|According to this classification, there were seven recognised national parties in the country in 2019, All India Trinamool Congress (AITC), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP), Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), Indian National Congress (INC), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)||Parties like the Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Janata Dal have national level political organization with units in several states. Some of these parties like Biju Janata Dal, Sikkim Democratic Front and Mizo National Front are conscious about their State identity.|
5. What are the various challenges faced by political parties?
(i) The first challenge is lack of internal democracy within parties. All over the world there is a tendency in political parties towards the concentration of power in one or few leaders at the top. Parties do not keep membership registers, do not hold organisational meetings, and do not conduct internal elections regularly. Ordinary members of the party do not get sufficient information on what happens inside the party. 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. 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. More than loyalty to party principles and policies, personal loyalty to the leader becomes more important.
(ii) The second challenge is of dynastic succession .Since most political parties do not practice open and transparent procedures for functioning, there are very few ways for an ordinary worker to rise to the top in a party. Those who happen to be the leaders are in a position of unfair advantage to favour people close to them or even their family members. In many parties, the top positions are always controlled by members of one family. This is unfair to other members of that party. This is also bad for democracy, since people who do not have adequate experience or popular support come to occupy positions of power. This tendency is present in some measure all over the world, including in some of the older democracies.
(iii) The third challenge is about the growing role of money and muscle power in parties, especially during elections. Since parties are focussed only on winning elections, they tend to use short-cuts to win elections. They tend to nominate those candidates who have or can raise lots of money. Rich people and companies who give funds to the parties tend to have influence on the policies and decisions of the party. In some cases, parties support criminals who can win elections. Democrats all over the world are worried about the increasing role of rich people and big companies in democratic politics.
(iv) The fourth challenge is that very often parties do not seem to offer a meaningful choice to the voters. In order to offer meaningful choice, parties must be significantly different. In recent years there has been a decline in the ideological differences among parties in most parts of the world. For example, the difference between the Labour Party and the Conservative Party in Britain is very little. They agree on more fundamental aspects but differ only in details on how policies are to be framed and implemented. In our country too, the differences among all the major parties on the economic policies have reduced. Those who want really different policies have no option available to them.
6. Describe the major functions of political parties.
(i) Contest elections: Parties contest elections. In countries like India, top party leaders choose candidates for contesting elections.
(ii) Put forward policies and programmes: Parties put forward different policies and programmes and voters choose from them. Political parties accommodate different views and opinions.
(iii) Play an important role in making laws: Political parties play a decisive role in making laws for a country. 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.
(iv) Form and run government: To run the government, political parties prepare a council of ministers by recruiting and training the leaders.
(v) Provide access to government machinery and welfare schemes: Political parties provide people access to government machinery and welfare schemes implemented by governments. For an ordinary citizen, it is easy to approach a local party leader than a government officer.
(vi) Play the role of position: The party which loses election plays the role of opposition. Opposition party tries to put checks on the ruling party by constantly criticizing its policies.
(vii) Shape public opinion: One of the most important functions of political parties is that they shape public opinion on relevant issues for the proper functioning of the government and to deepen the concept of democracy.