Delisting of Inactive Political Parties


    In News

    • Recently, the Election Commission ordered the delisting of 86 registered unrecognised political parties it found to be “non-existent” and declared 253 others “inactive”.

    Key Findings

    • Reason given for delisting: 
      • These 253 parties have been declared inactive, as they have not responded to the letter/notice delivered to them and have not contested a single election either to the General Assembly of a State or the Parliament Election 2014 and 2019. 
    • Impact: 
      • The parties that have been declared inactive would not be eligible to avail benefits under the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968, which allows parties to apply for a common symbol for its candidates.
      • It is pertinent to note that privilege of a common symbol is given to registered unrecognised political parties (RUPP) based on an undertaking to put up at least five per cent of the total candidates with regard to said Legislative Assembly election of a State. 

    Political Party

    • It is a group of people who come together to contest elections and hold power in the government. 
    • They agree on some policies and programmes for society to promote the collective good.
    • Since there can be different views on what is good for all parties, try to persuade people why their policies are better than others. 
    • They seek to implement these policies by winning popular support through elections
    • Conditions for recognising as a state or national party
      • For becoming a state party:
        • Must secure six per cent of the votes during the Assembly elections and two Assembly seats; or
        • Six per cent of votes in the LS from the state and an MP from the state; or three per cent of total Assembly seats or three seats (whichever is greater); or
        • One MP from every 25 Lok Sabha seats or eight per cent of total votes in the state during the Lok Sabha election from the state or the Assembly polls.
      • For becoming a National Party:
        • If Party is treated as a recognised political party in four or more states.
        • Get at least six per cent votes in four states in addition to four Lok Sabha seats.
        • It won at least two per cent seats in the LS (i.e., 11 seats in the existing House having 543 members).

    How are political parties registered in India?

    • Registration of political parties is governed by the provisions of section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. 
    • Deadline of application submission: 
      • A party seeking registration under the said section with the Commission has to apply to the Commission within 30 days following the date of its formation as per guidelines prescribed by the Commission in the exercise of the powers conferred by Article 324 of the Constitution of India and Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. 
    • Demand draft: 
    • The application must be accompanied by a demand draft for Rs10,000. It also needs to include a printed copy of the memorandum, rules and regulations or constitution of the Party. 
    • Specific provision: 
      • There should be a specific provision in the Constitution/rules and regulations/memorandum of the party regarding organizational elections at different levels and the periodicity of such elections and terms of office of the office-bearers of the party.
    •  Electoral rolls: 
      • It also needs to have the latest electoral rolls in respect of at least 100 members of the party to show that they are registered electors. 
    • Affidavit Duty:
      • The application would also need an affidavit duly signed by the President or General Secretary of the party and sworn before a First-Class. Magistrate/Oath Commissioner)/ Notary Public to the effect that no member of the party is a member of any other political party registered with the Commission.
    • Publishing the proposed Name of the party: 
      • As per existing guidelines, the applicant association is inter-alia asked to publish the proposed Name of the party in two national daily newspapers and two local daily newspapers, on two days for submitting objections, if any, with regard to the proposed registration of the party before the Commission within 30 days from such publication. 
      •  The notice for publication is also displayed on the website of the Election Commission.

    Criteria for Deregistration

    • A party can only be de-registered –
      • If its registration was obtained by fraud; 
      • if it is declared illegal by the Central Government; or 
      • if a party amends its internal Constitution and notifies the ECI that it can no longer abide by the Indian Constitution.

    Why is registering with the EC important?

    • The candidates set up by a political party registered with the Election Commission of India will get preference in the matter of allotment of free symbols vis-à-vis purely independent candidates. 
    • Further, registered political parties, in course of time, can get recognition as `State Party’ or National Party’ subject to the fulfilment of the conditions prescribed by the Commission in the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968, as amended from time to time. 
      • If a party is recognised as a State Party, it is entitled to exclusive allotment of its reserved symbol to the candidates set up by it in the State of States in which it is so recognised.
      • if a party is recognised as a `National Party’ it is entitled to exclusive allotment of its reserved symbol to the candidates set up by it throughout India. 
    • Recognised `State’ and `National’ parties need only one proposer for filing the nomination and are also entitled to two sets of electoral rolls free of cost and broadcast/telecast facilities over Akashvani/Doordarshan during general elections.

    About Election Commission India (ECI)

    • It was established in accordance with the Constitution on 25th January 1950.
    • It is an autonomous constitutional body responsible for administering Union and State election processes in India.
    • The body administers elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, State Legislative Assemblies, State Legislative Councils and the offices of the President and Vice President of the country.
    • It is not concerned with the elections to panchayats and municipalities in the states.
    • For this, the Constitution of India provides for a separate State Election Commission.

    Source: TH