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Explained: The 38 parties in the NDA fold

With the opposition putting up a united front, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) held a mega meeting on July 18, where leaders of 38 parties came to Delhi to solidify the alliance.

Speaking at the event, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the “NDA’s vote share will be above 50 per cent because of its allies who are working hard.”

We take a look at the parties who attended the meeting and will form an integral part of the NDA for the upcoming 2024 elections. Parties marked by * are recognised by the Election Commission of India.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)*

STATE: National party

SYMBOL: Lotus

HISTORY: The successor of the erstwhile Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS), the BJP was formed in 1980, after the Janata Party, with which the BJS had allied in 1977, barred members from holding membership. It has championed the cause of Hindu nationalism in the country over the years, and has appointed two prime ministers, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Narendra Modi.

PERFORMANCE: Starting with winning two seats in the 1984 general elections, the party grown from strength to strength, especially blossoming in the late 1980s, early 1990s on the back of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. It has now been in power at the Centre for two consecutive terms since 2014, currently holding 303 Lok Sabha seats as well as being in government in 15 states, either directly or in a coalition alliance.

Shiv Sena (Eknath Shinde faction)*

STATE: Maharashtra

SYMBOL: Bow and arrow

Freedom Sale

HISTORY: The Shiv Sena was formed by cartoonist Balasaheb Thackeray in 1966, focusing on ideas such as Maratha pride and opposition to non-Maharashtrian workers in the state. It later turned to embrace Hindutva and became a perennial ally of the BJP till the 2019 state assembly elections when it allied with the Congress and the NCP instead. However, this led to a split in the party with Eknath Shinde breaking away in 2022, to form the government with the BJP.

PERFORMANCE: Currently, Shinde’s faction is in power with the support of the BJP and the Nationalist Congress Party (Ajit Pawar faction). In a ruling of the Election Commission this year, over which faction is the ‘real’ Shiv Sena, it allotted this group the Shiv Sena’s traditional bow and arrow symbol, stating it had the support of 40 out of 67 MLAs and MLCs in Maharashtra, and 13 out of 22 MPs in both Houses of Parliament (19 MPs in Lok Sabha, three in Rajya Sabha).

Nationalist Congress Party (Ajit Pawar faction)

STATE: Maharashtra

SYMBOL: Currently disputed. Ajit Pawar has staked claim to the NCP’s clock symbol.

HISTORY: Sharad Pawar launched the NCP in 1999, after being thrown out of the Congress for his remarks on Sonia Gandhi. Since then, he has established a formidable political presence, especially in rural Maharashtra. Earlier this month, Sharad Pawar’s nephew Ajit left the party and joined the BJP-Shiv Sena (Shinde) government as Deputy Chief Minister, reportedly due to differences with party founder Sharad Pawar.

PERFORMANCE: Of the NCP’s 53 MLAs, 29 recently appeared with Ajit Pawar in a meeting, strengthening his claims of having majority support within the party. NCP has five MPs. Ajit Pawar has said that his party will fight in 13-15 Lok Sabha seats in the upcoming 2024 elections.

Rashtriya Lok Janshakti Party (Pashupati Kumar Paras-led)*

STATE: Bihar

SYMBOL: Sewing machine

HISTORY: Ram Vilas Paswan formed the LJP in 2000. It was supposed to help create a space for Dalit leaders in the state’s OBC-dominated politics at the time. But after Paswan’s death in 2020, there has been a succession war of sorts in the party. The warring LJP factions — the Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) led by Chirag Paswan, son of the late Ram Vilas Paswan, and RLJP led by Pashupati Kumar Paras, the senior Paswan’s brother — split in 2021.

PERFORMANCE: Ram Vilas Paswan was known for having weathered changes in national politics to maintain his position and was a Minister in Union governments under six Prime Ministers. After the split, Lok Sabha MP Pashupati Kumar Paras became the Minister of Food Processing Industries in the Union government. He claims the support of five MPs elected under the LJP name in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

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Lok Jan Shakti Party (Ram Vilas Paswan)*

STATE: Bihar

SYMBOL: Helicopter

HISTORY: In 2020, Chirag Paswan left the NDA, citing differences with its then ally JD(U) and its leader Nitish Kumar. However, after Nitish defected from the BJP-led alliance, Paswan was seen campaigning for saffron party candidates during the 2022 bypolls in Bihar. His return comes after the BJP allayed some of his “concerns” and Chirag says that his party expects to contest the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and the 2025 state elections with the BJP.

PERFORMANCE: In the recently concluded Nagaland elections, LJP (R) made a stunning debut, winning two of the 16 seats it concluded. Previously, it contested in 135 seats in the 2020 Bihar elections, with some analysts saying that its independent run cut into the vote share of the NDA.

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All India Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK)*

STATE: Tamil Nadu and Puducherry

SYMBOL: Two leaves

HISTORY: The AIADMK was founded by actor-politician MG Ramachandran in 1972, after he split from the DMK. Both parties have claimed the legacy of Periyar, the leader associated with the Dravidian movement, against north Indian and brahmanical dominance. Over the years, both DMK and AIADMK have alternated to form the government in Tamil Nadu. After the death of supremo J Jayalalithaa in 2016, there has been a heightened rivalry among the leaders Edappadi Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam. Currently, Palaniswami is leading the party.

PERFORMANCE: The AIADMK has been a part of the NDA in recent years. In the 2021 state assembly elections, the first since the death of Jayalalitha, the party endured an expected defeat, winning only 66 out of 234 seats in the state. It also failed to open its account in Puducherry. Currently, AIADMK boasts of one MP.

Apna Dal (Soneylal)*

STATE: Uttar Pradesh

SYMBOL: Cup and saucer

HISTORY: Sonelal Patel was a close companion of BSP founder Kanshi Ram and later founded the Apna Dal in 1995. He died in a road accident in 2009. In October 2014, fissures within the Apna Dal became public for the first time as its then-national general secretary Anupriya Patel, daughter of Sonelal, was removed from her post. Later the party split into the Apna Dal (Sonelal) (led by Anupriya) and Apna Dal (K). The two Apna Dal factions aligned with rival groupings led by the BJP and the Samajwadi Party.

PERFORMANCE: 13 MLAs won from AD(S) in the 2022 state elections, and in the 2019 general elections two of its MPs secured victory, including Anupriya Patel herself.

National People’s Party (NPP)*

STATE: Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland

SYMBOL: Book

HISTORY: The party was launched in 2013, by former Cabinet Minister Purno Agitok Sangma, who was earlier a member of the NCP. It was the first party from northeast India to attain national party status, in 2019, and has pan-northeast electoral ambitions.

PERFORMANCE: It came to power in the state after the 2018 elections, breaking a streak of Congress dominance. In the 2023 Legislative Assembly elections in Meghalaya, NPP won 26 out of the 60 seats and is now in power in the state as part of a coalition. It has two MPs, one each in both houses of Parliament. Conrad Sangma, the son of PA Sangma, now leads the party and is the Chief Minister in the state.

Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP)*

STATE: Nagaland

SYMBOL: Globe

HISTORY: The NDPP was formed in 2018, after a split from the Naga People’s Front (NPF), also a part of the NDA. In 2022, 21 NPF MLAs joined NDPP.

PERFORMANCE: Headed by Neiphiu Rio, it won 18 of the 60 seats in the State Assembly elections in 2018 and came to power as part of a coalition along with the BJP. In the 2023 polls, it won 25 seats and Rio retained his post. Currently, the party also boasts of one MP in the Lok Sabha.

Naga People’s Front (NPF)*

STATE: Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh

SYMBOL: Cock

HISTORY: One of the oldest surviving parties of Nagaland, NPP has been working towards resolving the Naga political issue for nearly six decades. Prior to 2002, it was known as the Naga People’s Council.

PERFORMANCE: From 2003 to 2018, it headed the Nagaland government along with the BJP, as part of the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland. The defection of its MLAs in 2021 reduced the NPF, considered a regional powerhouse, to barely four members in the state Assembly. When NDPP’s Rio left the NPF in 2017 and joined the new party, the BJP too broke off with the NPF, which had been their alliance partner of 15 years and joined hands with the NDPP. In 2023, it won two seats and currently has one Lok Sabha MP. It is the second-largest party in Manipur and has pledged the support of its six MLAs to the BJP.

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All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU)*

STATE: Jharkhand

SYMBOL: Banana

HISTORY: It was founded in 1986 after the student-led movement to demand an independent Jharkhand from Bihar.

PERFORMANCE: The BJP and AJSU had together formed the government in Jharkhand in the 2014 Assembly elections, winning 37 and 5 seats, respectively, in the 81-seat Legislative Assembly. While the BJP had contested 72 seats, the AJSU Party fielded candidates on eight seats. However, AJSU severed ties with the BJP in the state days ahead of the 2019 elections due to a seat-sharing impasse. It ended up winning three seats. It has one MP in the Lok Sabha.

Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM)*

STATE: Sikkim

SYMBOL: Table lamp

HISTORY: Earlier a part of the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF), SKM was formed in 2013 after Prem Singh Tamang, a vocal critic of then SDF leader and Sikkim Chief Minister PK Chamling, decided to form his own party.

PERFORMANCE: After winning 17 of the 32 seats in the 2019 state assembly elections, PS Tamang, also known as PS Golay, headed the new government in Sikkim, ending the 25-year long reign of Chamling. Currently, the SKM also boasts of one MP in the Lok Sabha.

Mizo National Front (MNF)*

STATE: Mizoram

SYMBOL: Star

HISTORY: The MNF’s formation in 1961 came on the back of a devastating famine as well as demands for autonomy creating a politically charged atmosphere in the region. Under leader Laldenga, the MNF led a secessionist movement till June 1986, when the Mizoram Peace Accord was signed between the MNF and the Rajiv Gandhi government. Laldenga became the state’s first CM that year.

PERFORMANCE: The MNF, with Zoramthanga as the CM, is currently in power in Mizoram, winning 26 out of the 40 seats in the 2018 Legislative Assembly elections. It also has an MP in each house of parliament. The MNF has been a long-term ally of the BJP.

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Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT)*

STATE: Tripura

SYMBOL: Dao (agricultural tool from Tripura)

HISTORY: The IPFT was formed in 1996 after the government banned the secessionist group National Liberation Front of Tripura. A year later, it merged with some other groups and renamed itself the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Twipra (INPT). IPFT made its first political breakthrough in 2000 by winning a seat in the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council with support from the National Liberal Front of Tripura (NLFT).

PERFORMANCE: The party lost successive elections in 2003 and 2008. In 2016, it launched the demand for a separate state for tribals, Twiparaland. In 2023, it won one seat but came to power thanks to its alliance with the BJP. It does not have any MPs at present.

Republican Party of India (Athawale)

STATE: Maharashtra

HISTORY: The party has its roots in the Republican Party of India, founded by Dr BR Ambedkar. After Ambedkar’s death, the RPI broke off into numerous offshoots. RPI (A) is one such successor party, getting its name from its leader Ramdas Athawale.

PERFORMANCE: The party enjoys support among Maharashtra’s Dalits, who have a crucial vote in 35 to 40 assembly segments in Maharashtra’s 288-member Legislative Assembly. At present, the RPI (A) has no members in the state assembly or the Lok Sabha. However, the BJP accommodated Athawale as a member of the Rajya Sabha from its own party quota in 2020. He currently serves as the Minister of State for Social Justice in the Centre.

Asom Gana Parishad (AGP)*

STATE: Assam

SYMBOL: Elephant

HISTORY: The AGP has its roots in the Assam Movement, a robust ethno-nationalist movement against “foreigners” in the state. It is the successor of All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) which spearheaded the six-year-long movement that led to the signing of the historic Assam Accord in 1985, between leaders of the agitation and the Rajiv Gandhi government. That year, the AGP was formed with Prafulla Kumar Mahanta at its helm.

PERFORMANCE: The AGP formed the government in Assam twice – between 1985 and 1989, between 1996 and 2001. However, in more recent years, it has been a junior partner to the BJP in the state. In the 2016 elections, the BJP and AGP had together won 75 out of 126 seats (the BJP 61, AGP 14). Despite the AGP breaking ties with the BJP over the Citizenship Amendment Bill in 2019, the two would come together again in 2021. Currently, the party has nine seats in the State Assembly and one seat in the Rajya Sabha.

Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK)

STATE: Tamil Nadu and Puducherry

HISTORY: Formed in 1989 by S Ramadoss, to further the demands of the Vanniyar caste group, the PMK is one of many caste-based parties in Tamil Nadu. Vanniyars have been a historically marginalised caste, and after the Ramadoss-led 1987 Vanniyar reservation agitation, the caste was given OBC status by the DMK government.

PERFORMANCE: The party maintains a limited but loyal base, and has shifted alliances often. It moved from AIADMK to DMK in 2004, then to AIADMK in 2009, before returning to the DMK in 2011. In 2014, it joined the NDA and has been in its fold since then. After the recent 2021 Legislative Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, it won five of the 234 seats. It has one member in the Rajya Sabha – party leader A Ramadoss, the son of S Ramadoss.

Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC)

STATE: Tamil Nadu and Puducherry

HISTORY: Party founder GK Moopanar was a Congress leader. In 1996, he floated the TMC in protest against the Congress central leadership’s decision to strike an alliance with AIADMK without consulting the state party’s members. AIADMK, at the time, was facing a series of corruption charges and Moopanar had the support of 20 MPs and senior Congress leaders, including P Chidambaram and Jayanti Natarajan.

PERFORMANCE: It won seats in the state and national level elections in the late 1990s and 2000s and has also allied with the DMK to dislodge the AIADMK. But after 2016, its electoral presence has waned. At present, it has one member in the Rajya Sabha, and is allied with the AIADMK and the BJP.

United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL)*

STATE: Assam

HISTORY: A regional party in the Bodoland region of Assam, the party was formed in 2015 to further the struggle for statehood for Bodoland. It first came to prominence in 2020 after it joined hands with the BJP to form the ruling alliance in the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC). The party is led by Promod Boro, former president of the All Bodo Students Union. He was one of the signatories of the peace and development accord signed by the Centre with different Bodo groups.

PERFORMANCE: Following the 2021 State Assembly elections, it has seven MLAs and one Rajya Sabha MP elected in 2022.

Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP)

STATE: Uttar Pradesh

HISTORY: The party has its roots in Eastern Uttar Pradesh and was founded in 2002. Party founder Om Prakash Rajbhar became an MLA for the first time after the 2017 Legislative Assembly elections and was appointed Minister for Backward Classes Welfare. But he resigned soon after, following a sit-in he staged in Ghazipur demanding the removal of a District Magistrate. Rajbhar said at the time that despite his being a minister, officials didn’t listen to him.

PERFORMANCE: It contested the 2017 elections with the BJP, and until then the party had not witnessed any significant electoral success. After Rajbhar’s resignation, he allied with the Samajwadi Party for the 2022 elections and his party won six seats. He has now switched to the BJP again. The party has no MPs.

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Shiromani Akali Dal (Sanyukt)

STATE: Punjab

HISTORY: An offshoot of the Akali Dal, one of the oldest political parties of India, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Sanyukt) is led by Rajya Sabha member Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa. It was formed in 2021 by the merger of Akali Dal breakaway factions of Dhindsa’s SAD (Democratic) and Ranjit Singh Brahampura’s SAD (Taksali).

PERFORMANCE: In the 2022 Punjab Legislative Assembly elections, it announced 12 candidates. It allied with the BJP and failed to win any seats.

Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP)*

STATE: Goa

SYMBOL: Lion

HISTORY: Founded by Dayanand Bandodkar, the first Chief Minister of Goa (1963-73) after the end of Portuguese rule. Rightwing party that started out leaning towards Maharashtra and Marathi, and has repeatedly struck opportunistic alliances over the decades. The party allied with the BJP in 1994, then broke away, and returned in 2012. It broke the alliance in 2017, but came back to join the government of Manohar Parrikar. It struck an alliance with the Trinamool Congress before the 2021 election, but joined the government of Chief Minister Pramod Sawant afterward.

PERFORMANCE: Since the 1990s, when the then rising BJP ate into its core base, the MGP has been a small to medium-sized player in Goa. However, it has managed to leverage Goa’s famously fractious and fickle politics to retain political relevance.

Jannayak Janta Party (JJP)*

STATE: Haryana

SYMBOL: Key

HISTORY: The JJP was founded in December 2018 by Dushyant Chautala, the current Deputy Chief Minister of Haryana, along with his father Ajay Singh Chautala after a split in the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD). Ajay Chautala is the son of the former Chief Minister of Haryana, Om Prakash Chautala, and a grandson of former Deputy Prime Minister Chaudhary Devi Lal. Dushyant, who is now 35 years old, became the youngest MP in India’s history in 2014.

PERFORMANCE: The JJP won 10 seats in the 2019 Haryana Assembly elections, and joined the coalition government led by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar of the BJP. Dushyant, who won the Uchana seat in the election, became Deputy CM.

Prahar Janshakti Party (PJP)

STATE: Maharashtra

HISTORY: The Prahar Janshakti Party was founded in 1999 by Omprakash Babarao ‘Bachchu’ Kadu, currently the Independent MLA from Achalpur, which is part of the Amravati Lok Sabha constituency. The party identifies itself with the causes of farmers.

PERFORMANCE: The PJP has two MLAs in the Maharashtra Assembly, Bachchu Kadu and Rajkumar Patel, who represents Melghat (ST), which too is a part of the Amravati Lok Sabha constituency. Both Bachchu and Patel are popular leaders in their areas. Bachchu has won the Achalpur seat continuously since 2004, and was a minister in Uddhav Thackeray’s MVA government; Patel won in Melghat in 1999 and 2004 on a BJP ticket, and in 2019 as a PJP candidate. The PJP switched loyalties to Eknath Shinde after he split the Shiv Sena and joined hands with the BJP to form the government last year.

Rashtriya Samaj Paksha (RSPS)

STATE: Maharashtra

HISTORY: The party was formed in 2003 by former Maharashtra minister Mahadev Jankar, with the declared intention of winning “political power for deprived India”. The RSPS was a pre-poll ally of the BJP in 2014, and Jankar became an MLC in 2015, and a minister in the government of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in 2016.

PERFORMANCE: The RSPS has contested both Assembly and Lok Sabha elections since 2004. Jankar contested against Sharad Pawar for the Madha Lok Sabha seat in 2009 and finished third behind the NCP leader and a BJP candidate. In 2014, he gave a good fight to Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule at the Baramati seat, winning 42% of the vote to come in second.

Jan Surajya Shakti Party (JSS)

STATE: Maharashtra

HISTORY: The party was formed by Vinay Kore, who is currently the lone member of his party in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly. The JSS supports the government of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.

PERFORMANCE: Kore is his party’s MLA from the Shahuwadi constituency in Kolhapur district, where he defeated the Shiv Sena candidate in the 2019 election. He had won the seat in 2009 as well, and lost in 2014 by a narrow margin.

Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF)

STATE: West Bengal

HISTORY: The GNLF was formed in 1980 by Subhash Ghisingh to champion the demand for an autonomous Gorkha state – within the union of India – in order to represent the Nepali speaking population of northern Bengal. From 1988 to 2004, the party administered the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council. In 2004, the party suffered from a major split, with Ghisingh’s protege Bimal Gurung breaking away and forming the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha. It has struggled for relevance since then.

PERFORMANCE: The GNLF has had a patchy relationship with elections. Over the years, it has boycotted multiple elections (both state level and Lok Sabha) and supported other parties in some. Its heyday arguably came between 1996 and 2006, when it won the state assembly seats in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong three times. Electorally, the GNLF has not fared well since GJM’s formation.

Puthiya Tamilagam (PT)

STATE: Tamil Nadu

HISTORY: Founded in 1997 by K Krishnaswamy, the party represents the Pallars and associated castes (one of the three major Dalit castes in the state) in southern and coastal Tamil Nadu. In 2019, the party joined the AIADMK-BJP-PMK alliance in Tamil Nadu as part of the National Democratic Alliance. PT was allocated one constituency to contest, with Krishnasamy standing in Tenkasi for the sixth time.

PERFORMANCE: Historically, Dalits in Tamil Nadu have voted for the major OBC parties such as DMK and AIADMK. While PT has stood in every Lok Sabha and state election since 1998, it has thus far only ever won two seats – in 2011, as a part of the AIADMK alliance.

Kerala Kamaraj Congress

STATE: Kerala

HISTORY: The Kerala Kamaraj Congress was founded by Vishnupuram Chandrasekharan in 2016. It has been a part of the NDA since its formation.

PERFORMANCE: The party’s founder V Chandrasekharan contested and lost from the Kovalam constituency under a BJP ticket in the 2021 state elections.

Bharath Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS)

STATE: Kerala

HISTORY: The BDJS was founded in 2015 as a political wing of the Sree Narayana Trust. It is led by Thushar Vellappally. The party split prior to the 2021 state assembly elections, with the offshoot Bharathiya Jana Sena (BJS) allying with the Congress-led UDF in the elections.

PERFORMANCE: The BDJS has not seen any electoral success, so far. In the 2016 assembly elections, as part of the NDA, it contested in 37 seats but won none. It again drew blank in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections with leader Thushar Vellappally being thumped by Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad.

Haryana Lokhit Party

STATE: Haryana

HISTORY: The party was formed by Gopal Kanda in 2014 after a spate of legal cases and controversies led to Kanda’s ouster from the state government. Kanda has been a follower of Tara Baba, a spiritual guru in Sirsa who passed away in 2002.

PERFORMANCE: After failing to win from Sirsa in the 2014 assembly elections, Gopal Kanda contested again and won in 2019. He has been a part of the ruling coalition in the state since then.

Jana Sena Party (JSP)

STATE: Andhra Pradesh and Telangana

HISTORY: Formed by Telugu film star Pawan Kalyan in 2014, the JSP’s ideology is to bring social equality. Pawan Kalyan says that his party represents politics without caste or religion. He aims to reduce the use of money in politics, and to fight corruption. One of the points in the Jana Sena’s manifesto is to bring the Chief Minister under the Lok Ayukta.

PERFORMANCE: In the 2014 elections, JSP supported the TDP-BJP alliance, but did not contest itself. Over time, however, Pawan Kalyan became disillusioned with the TDP and left the alliance, contesting the 2019 elections in alliance with the left and the BSP. It won only one seat. After the elections, however, it allied again with the BJP.

Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM)

STATE: Bihar

HISTORY: The party was formed by former Chief Minister of Bihar and JD(U) leader Jitan Ram Manjhi in 2015, in the aftermath of the political crisis in Bihar. Manjhi, who rose to the position of chief minister after the resignation of Nitish Kumar in 2014, had refused to resign and make way for Nitish, who wanted to return to the post. As he lost support within his own party, Manjhi walked out, along with 18 others and formed the HAM.

PERFORMANCE: The party has enjoyed moderate success in Bihar, winning only one seat in 2015 and 4 seats in 2019. HAM has been a part of the NDA since its inception, with a brief hiatus between 2018 and 2020. It was a part of the ruling alliance in Bihar until Nitish Kumar switch put it in the opposition.

All India NR Congress (AINRC)*

STATE: Puducherry

SYMBOL: Jug

HISTORY: AINRC emerged from the Congress Party in 2011, under the leadership of Puducherry Chief Minister N Rangaswamy. The NR in the party’s name stands for Namathu Rajiyam – meaning “our kingdom”.

PERFORMANCE: In 2011, the party aligned with AIADMK before forming the government by itself after securing 15 of 30 seats in the legislature. It won only 8 seats in the 2016 elections before coming back to power in 2021, this time as a part of the NDA. It currently boasts of 10 MLAs in the union territory.

Nishad Party

STATE: Uttar Pradesh

HISTORY: Nirbal Indian Shoshit Hamara Aam Dal (NISHAD) was founded in 2016, for the empowerment of the marginalised Nishad caste. Its founder, Sanjay Nishad, was a former member of the Bahujan Samaj Party who formed his own party to represent the interests of the Nishads.

PERFORMANCE: Contesting in 100 seats in the 2017 UP elections, the party performed poorly, winning only one seat. However, in the Samajwadi Party in the 2018 by-elections, Praveen Kumar Nishad, son of Sanjay Nishad, shocked many when he won the Gorakhpur assembly seat from the BJP. However, the party soon allied with the BJP for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and has been a part of the NDA since then. It won 6 seats in the 2022 UP assembly elections.

Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP)*

STATE: Meghalaya

SYMBOL: Lion

HISTORY: The party was formed in 1968 after a split from the All Party Hill Leaders Conference by Hopingstone Lyngdoh. In its early years, the party championed the cause of a separate state for the hill people in southern Assam, eventually leading to the formation of Meghalaya in 1972. Today, the HSPDP is one of three major parties in the state.

PERFORMANCE: The party has had representatives in the state assembly since the first elections were held in 1972. It has been a junior member of coalition governments in the state on a number of occasions, and following the 2018 election, it joined the National People’s Party-led government of Chief Minister Conrad Sangma. It currently holds 2 seats in the state.

United Democratic Party (Meghalaya)*

STATE: Meghalaya

SYMBOL: Drum

HISTORY: The party was formed in 1997 by EK Mawlong, after he left the HSPDP. Over the years, it has allied with both the Congress and the BJP.

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PERFORMANCE: The UDP has had representatives in the state assembly since its inception. The party was crucial to propping up Conrad Sangma’s NPP government in 2018, and was given the Speaker’s position in the assembly. After the elections earlier this year, the UDP currently holds 11 seats in the state assembly.

Kuki People’s Alliance (KPA)*

STATE: Manipur

HISTORY: The party was formed in 2022 by retired civil servant Tongmang Haokip. It aimed to promote the “Kuki national ideology, protect their national identity and preserve their national heritage.”

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PERFORMANCE: Allied with the BJP, the won 2 seats in the 2022 Manipur elections.

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