Political Parties Registration in India

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    In News 

    • Recently, the Election Commission of India reduced the notice period for registering new political parties in the five poll-bound states from 30 days to 7 days for parties who have published their public notice on or before 8 January 2022.

    Background 

    • The Commission has announced the General Elections for the Legislative Assemblies of Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, 2022 on 8th January 2022. 
    • It has been brought to the notice of the Commission that given prevailing restrictions on account of Covid -19, there was dislocation and delay in moving applications for registration, which in turn led to delay in registration as a Political Party 
      • During the general election to the Legislative Assembly [elections] of Bihar, Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal also, the commission relaxed this notice period because of the ongoing pandemic.

    What is a 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

    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.

    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

    • 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.

    Constitutional Provisions

    • Its powers, appointment and duties are mentioned in Part XV of the Constitution (Article 324 to Article 329) and the Representation of People Act.
    • Article 324: Superintendence, direction and control of elections to be vested in an Election Commission.
    • Article 325: No person to be ineligible for inclusion in, or to claim to be included in a special electoral roll on the ground of religion, race, caste or sex.
    • Article 326: Elections to the Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies of States to be on the basis of adult suffrage.
    • Article 327: Power of Parliament to make provision with respect to elections to legislature.
    • Article 328: Power of Legislature of a State to make provision with respect to elections to such Legislature.
    • Article 329: Bar to interference by courts in electoral matters.

    Source: PIB