A few things you need to know about India’s Political Parties

Published 10th March, 2011

As of 10th March 2014 the Election Commission of India had 1646 registered parties on its list.

Of those the majority (1593) are unrecognised parties. In other words they do not have any representation at state or national level or may not have been in existence for at least five consecutive years.

There are 47 state parties. That means they have representation in one of India’s 28 states (29 states with the introduction of Telangana in June 2014) or seven union territories.

There are six national parties. A party must be recognised in at least four states for it to become registered as a national party.

Because of the high levels of illiteracy in India in some areas, each party has a symbol which it can choose from a list of symbols available through the Election Commission.

We provide you with profiles of the six national political parties, but you can find the full list of political parties, their symbols and contact details here.

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