- GS-2: Elections
Political Parties Registration in India
Context: Former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh announced that he will be forming his own political party in Punjab which will be registered with the Election commission.
What is the procedure for registering political parties?
- According to the Election Commission, any party seeking registration has to submit an application to the Commission within a period of 30 days following the date of its formation
- Article 324 of the Indian Constitution and Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 has conferred power to the Election Commission to prescribe guidelines for registration of parties.
- The applicant has to publish a proposed party name in two national daily newspapers and two local daily newspapers. The notice for publication is also displayed on the website of the Election Commission.
- To register a political party, an application for registration has to be sent by registered post or presented personally to the Secretary to the Election Commission within 30 days following the date of formation of the party in the format prescribed.
- The application must be accompanied by a demand draft for Rs.10,000.
- It also needs to include a printed copy of the memorandum, rules and regulations or constitution of the Party. It should contain provisions regarding organizational elections at different levels and the periodicity of such elections and terms of office of the office-bearers of the party.
- 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.
- The application would also need an affidavit duty signed by the President or General Secretary of the party and sworn before a First Class Magistrate/Oath Commissioner)/ Notary Public.
- Individual affidavits from at least 100 members of the party would also be needed to ensure that they are not a member of any other political party registered with the Commission.
Why registering with the EC is important?
- To be clear, it is not mandatory to register with the Election Commission but registering as a political party with the EC has its advantage in terms of intending to avail itself of the provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, (relating to registration of political parties).
- The candidates of registered political party will get preference in the matter of allotment of free symbols vis-à-vis purely independent candidates.
- These registered political parties can get recognition as a ‘state party’ or a ‘national party’ subject to the fulfilment of the conditions prescribed in the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968.
How EC recognises a political party as a state or national party?
Several conditions are followed by the Election Commission to recognise the parties as a state or national party.
State Party – The registered party has to satisfy any of the 5 conditions.
- Secure at least 6% of the valid vote & win at least 2 seats in a State Assembly General Election
- Secure at least 6% of the valid vote & win at least 1 seats in a Lok Sabha General Election
- Win at least 3% of the seats or at least 3 seats , whichever is more, in a State assembly General Election
- Win at least 1 out of every 25 seats from a state in a Lok Sabha General Election
- Secure at least 8% of the total valid vote in a State Assembly or a Lok Sabha General Election
- There are over 60 regional parties and more than 2,000 registered but unrecognised parties in the country.
National Party – The registered party has to satisfy any of the 3 conditions.
- Secure at least 6% of the valid vote in an Assembly or a Lok Sabha General Election in any four or more states and win at least 4 seats in a Lok Sabha General Election from any State or States
- Win at least 2% of the total Lok Sabha seats in a Lok Sabha General Election and these seats have to be won from at least 3 states
- The party is recognized as a State Party in at least four states.
- As on 2019, India had seven national parties (All India Trinamool Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party, Bharatiya Janata Party, Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Indian National Congress and Nationalist Congress Party)
- These conditions have to be fulfilled by the parties before every Lok Sabha and Assembly elections to make sure they don’t lose their status.
What are the perks of recognition as a state or national party?
- A party recognized as a state party gets a reserved symbol within the state wheareas for a national party, the reserved symbol can be used across the country by its contesting candidates.
- Such parties need only one proposer for filing the nomination.
- They are entitled to broadcast/telecast facilities over Doordarshan during the general elections.
- They are also entitled for two sets of electoral rolls free of cost.
- There are also other advantages to the recognized parties like subsidized land for party offices etc.
Connecting the dots: