By - Mahek Wadwaniya


The pressure groups and political parties plays different roles in democracy, electoral process, policy making, politics etc. Political parties and Pressure groups are dependent on each other. They play an important role in the democracy of the country. The pressure parties and political parties perform representation, enable political participation and contribute to the policy process. Since the colonial period pressure group were arose in India. All India trade union congress was the first countrywide pressure group of working class. India is a developing country having scarcity of resources and acute poverty promoting significant role of pressure groups. The aim of these pressure group was to secure economic and political concessions for themselves. Providing crucial factor of the structural balance. Interest groups find the parties an important method of gaining access to those in public authority, and the parties need the support of groups to elect and maintain themselves to be in power. Interest groups take part in unbiased and biased primary election and general elections through candidate authorization, providing campaign funds and general campaign activity. Interest groups are particularly interested in programs and seek to influence party policies and may provide speech materials for candidates.   


A pressure groups is an organization that seeks to influence elected officials to take account or make a change on a specific issue. These groups get associated with terms such as lobbying groups as many members prefer to not call them pressure groups given the negative connotation of the word.

A political party is an organization that coordinate candidates to compete in a country’s elections. It is common for the members of a political party to have similar ideas about politics and parties may promote specific ideological or policy goals. Many political parties are motivated by ideological goals. 

Pressure groups and political parties are codependent for achieving their goals. Pressure groups consider the parties to be an important method of gaining access to those in power and political parties need the support of groups of people who share one or more interests and influence each other to get elected and maintain themselves in power. The nature of the federal system fosters a chain of a continuous relationship between the two bodies.  

Pressure group:

The term ‘pressure groups’ originated in the USA which means a group of people with common interest who are organised actively for promoting and defending their own interest.  The pressure groups influence the policy-making and policy implementation in the government through legal and legitimate methods like lobbying, correspondence, publicity, propagandising, petitioning, public debating, maintaining contacts with their legislators and so forth.

Characteristics of pressure groups:

Respective pressure group organises itself keeping in view certain interests and tries to adopt the structure of power in the political system. These groups adopt modern as well as traditional means like financing of political parties, sponsoring their close candidates at the time of election and keeping the bureaucracy also satisfied and exploitation of caste, creed and religious feelings to promote their interest. Scarcity if resources, claims and counterclaims on the resources from different and rival sections of the society leads to the rise of pressure groups. Insufficiencies of political parties leads to the formation of pressure groups. The increase in the food production or industrial goods does bring a change in a way individuals and groups look at the world. The inactivity in production leads to fatalism but increase in production leads to demands, protests and formation of new pressure groups.       

Types of pressure groups:

Institutional interest groups: Groups that are strictly organised and which consist of specialised employed people. These groups are the part of government organisation which try to exert their influence. These groups include political parties, legislatures, armies, bureaucracies, etc. IAS association, IPS association, state civil services association are some example of Institutional interest groups.

Associational interest groups: These are organised specialised groups formed for interest vocalization, but to pursue limited goals. These include trade unions, organisations of businessmen and industrialists and civic groups. Few examples of Associational Interest Groups in India are Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Indian Chamber of Commerce, Trade Unions such as AITUC (All India Trade Union Congress), Teachers Associations, Students Associations such as National Students Union of India (NSUI) etc.

Anomic interest groups: anomic pressure groups are those who find impulsive ways into the political system from the society by creating riots, demonstrations, assassinations etc. 

Non associational groups: These are the affinity and lineage groups and ethnic, regional, status and class groups that articulate interests on the basis of individuals, family and religious heads. These groups have informal structure. These include caste groups, language groups, etc.

Political parties:

A political party is an organisation that coordinates candidates to compete in a country’s elections. It is common for the members of a political party to have similar ideas about politics and parties may promote specific ideological or policy goals. Political parties are the important part of the politics of many countries, as modern party organizations developed and spread around the world over the last few centuries. Parties are important in the politics of autocracies and democracies, though usually democracies have more political parties than autocracies. 

Characteristics of political party:

One of the primary characteristics of a political of a political is that it can venture control of governmental powers by appointing their own members in public offices through which the policies of government are determined. These offices are those endowed with law-making authority and those invested with the power to direct and supervise the execution of laws. A second characteristic of a political party is its intention to use governmental powers for purposes which meet with the general approval of its leaders and the rank and file of its membership. Usually, it maintains that certain principles and policies should be adhered to in the operation of a government. In practice it sometimes seems as if the programme is the secondary rather than the primary objective. One of the factors accounting for the origin and survival of a party is some degree of agreement among its members concerning the general way in which the powers of government ought to be exercised. Two other common characteristics of political parties are organization and stability. Organized effort is necessary to the achievement of both the immediate and the eventual of a party. Without some sort of organization, parties stand minimum chance of gaining control of the government and of directing its activities along desired lines. 

Types of political parties:

National parties:  A party which is recognised as a state party in at least four states is recognised as a national party. Each party must be registered with the election commission of the country, the commission has to be non-biased. It offers specific facilities to state and national parties. Every party has their unique symbol which is also registered with the commission. These unique symbols can only be used by the candidate of the particular party.

State parties: other than the national parties of the country there are other major parties which are classified by the election commission as the state parties. These are commonly referred to as regional parties. A party is recognised as a state party by the Election Commission of India based on certain percentage of votes secured or a certain number of seats won in the Assembly or Lok Sabha elections.

Electoral system:

The electoral system in India is an adaption of the systems followed in the United Kingdom. India is a secular, democratic republic, socialist and the largest democratic country inn the world. The modern India the constitution of India came into force on 26th January, 1950. Articles 324 to 329 in part XV of the Constitution make the following provisions with regard to the electoral system in our country.

  1. Article 324 of the Indian Constitution offers an independent Election Commission in order to ensure free and fair elections in the country. At present, the commission comprises of a Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners. 
  2. The Parliament may make provision with respect to all matters relating to elections to the Parliament including the preparation of electoral rolls, the demarcation of constituencies and all other matters necessary for securing their due constitution.
  3. The state legislatures can also make provisions with respect to all concerns relating to elections to the state legislatures including the preparation of electoral rolls and all other matters necessary for securing their due constitution.

Role of pressure groups on electoral process:

The role of the pressure groups is very important for the administrative, legislative, executive, bureaucratic, and political system.  The roles of these parties is very effective but in an indirect way the roles of these pressure groups are:

  1. These parties help political parties to win an election by preparing manifestos and mobilizing voters’ they introduce their candidates into the legislature.
  2. Pressure groups are the interest groups that work to secure certain interest by influencing the public policy.
  3. They are neutral with any political party and work as an indirect yet powerful group to affect the policy decision.
  4. Pressure Groups bring the demands and needs of the people to the notice of the decision-makers. The process by which the claims of the people get crystallized and voiced is called interest vocalization.
  5. Pressure groups accompaniment the work of opposition political parties by exposing the corrupt policies and misconducts of the government. Pressure groups thus improve the liability of decision causes to electorates.
  6. Bureaucrats are politically unbiased and hence, the pressure groups attempt to turn them in their manner by setting good statements on them. Bureaucrats have a long tenure of service and therefore, they assist to them.
  7. These groups support minority communities in expressing their views and their needs which are unnoticed by the government.
  8. Pressure groups are the vital link between the government and the public.
  9. Pressure groups provide proficiency to the government with various information which might be applicable to issues such as ethnic settlement.
Role of political parties on electoral process: 

  1. The object of the political parties is to complement people who support comparable points of view about the government. Sometimes the people associated with the same party doesn’t share the same opinions about the government should run remain the same.
  2. The parties hold true to a core set of opinions which empowers the voters to understand the basic principles of one of the nominated candidates.
  3. Parties fight elections. In most democracies, elections are fought primarily among the candidates put up by political parties.
  4. Parties put forward their policies and programmes before the electorate to consider and choose.
  5. Parties outline public estimation. They raise and feature issues of importance.
  6. People in the same political party remain connected with each other through their party. A party can associate its members at different stages of government- local, state or national. This plays a merger role for all the members.
  7. The political parties propose access to the government organization and benefit schemes. Local party leaders act as a link between the citizens and government officials.

The pressure groups support to instruct the parties about the interests of its members and provide some cross-fertilization of ideas and manpower assistance. Political parties, have a major function of meeting their demands. Though they are not the same, their relationship is evidently close and clear.