India has a multi-party system, where political parties are classified as national, state or regional level parties. All parties are registered with the Election Commission. Each party carries a special and unique election symbol.
In the early years of Indian independence, the role of regional parties in our democratic political system was just nominal. But now time has changed and so the present political scenario of the country, the role of the regional parties has become all the more important.
One of the oldest regional parties, the Shiromani Akali Dal was established in 1920 by the religious organisation Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) to be the principal representative of Sikhs in the undivided Punjab during the British rule. At present, regional parties are ruling, either on their own or in alliance with a national party or with other parties, in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir, Nagaland, Odisha, Punjab, Sikkam, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
If we peep in the state of Haryana, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) was founded in October 1996 as Haryana Lok Dal (HLD) by former Deputy Prime Minister and two times chief minister Chaudhary Devi Lal. The HLD was renamed as INLD in 1998. Devi Lal’s son, Om Prakash Chautala, who is the current president of the party, has been chief minister four times. Chautala’s son Ajay Singh Chautala is the secretary general of the party.
Similarly in West Bengal, the All India Trinamool Congress, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is no different from other regional parties. It is also a single personality driven party. Her command is the last word. The charisma of Bannerjee drove the party again to power in the State early this year, defeating the Left parties, which had ruled over the State more than three decades, and the BJP. Hence other regional parties too are ruling with confidence.
Well regional parties play a curial role and its future totally depends on how smoothly they run their party and works as a watchdog by meeting all the needs and requirements of the common mass.