Coupon Accepted Successfully!


Reforms in Political Parties in India

Change can happen in a democratic system only through the elected representatives of the people. But if the elected representatives from the parties are not willing to change, reform is not possible.


However, some recent developments in India seem to be happening in the right direction:

  • The Constitution was amended to prevent MLAs and MPs from changing parties after election. This was because MLAs would change parties to bring another party into power for a cash reward. Now an MLS or MP who changes parties must forfeit his seat in the Legislature. 
  • The Supreme Court has made it mandatory for all candidates to file an affidavit stating details about all his property and criminal cases pending against him. However, right now there is no mechanism to check the accuracy of the details provided. 
  • The Election Commission has made it mandatory for parties to conduct internal elections and file income tax returns.

Besides these, other suggestion have been made to reform political parties:

  • It should be made compulsory for political parties to maintain a register of its members, to follow its own constitution, to have an independent authority, to act as a judge in case of party disputes, to hold open elections to the highest posts. 
  • It should be made mandatory for political parties to give a minimum number of tickets, about one-third, to women candidates. Similarly, there should be a quota for women in the decision making bodies of the party. 
  • There should be state funding of elections. The government should give parties money to support their election expenses. This support could be given in kind: petrol, paper, telephone etc. Or it could be given in cash on the basis of the votes secured by the party in the last election.

However we must be careful not to over-regulate parties, since that will force all of them to find ways to cheat the law. Also, parties may repeal legislations that they do not like, when they come to power.


But public pressure can make parties more responsive. If political parties feel that they would lose public support by not taking up reforms, they would become more serious about reforms. Also, if people who want reform join parties, they can influence the party organization to accept reform.

Test Your Skills Now!
Take a Quiz now
Reviewer Name