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Registration of political parties under Section 29A of the RP Act, 1951

Topics Covered:

  1. Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

 

Registration of political parties under Section 29A of the RP Act, 1951

 

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Registration of political parties and provisions governing them, benefits of registration.

 

Context: The commission has announced the elections for the Lok Sabha and Assemblies to Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Arunachal Pradesh on 10th March, 2019.  Therefore, in view of the current elections, the Commission has given one time relaxation and has reduced the notice period  from 30 days to 7 days for the parties who have published their public notice by 10th March, 2019 i.e. date of announcement of election.

 

What the rules say?

As per existing guidelines, the applicant association  is  inter-alia asked to publish proposed Name of the party in two national daily news papers and two local daily newspapers, on two days in same news papers, for inviting objections, if any, with regard to the proposed registration of the party before the Commission within  a 30 days from such publication.

 

Registration of political parties:

Registration of Political parties is governed by the provisions of Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. A party seeking registration under the said Section with the Commission has to submit an application to the Commission within a period of 30 days following the date of its formation as per guidelines prescribed by the Election Commission of India in exercise of the powers conferred by Article 324 of the Commission of India and Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

 

To be eligible for a ‘National Political Party of India,’ the Election Commission has set the following criteria:

  1. It secures at least six percent of the valid votes polled in any four or more states, at a general election to the House of the People or, to the State Legislative Assembly; and
  2. In addition, it wins at least four seats in the House of the People from any State or States. OR
  3. It wins at least two percent seats in the House of the People (i.e., 11 seats in the existing House having 543 members), and these members are elected from at least three different States.

 

To be eligible for a ‘State Political Party,’ the Election Commission has set the following criteria:

  1. It secures at least six percent of the valid votes polled in the State at a general election, either to the House of the People or to the Legislative Assembly of the State concerned; and
  2. In addition, it wins at least two seats in the Legislative Assembly of the State concerned. OR
  3. It wins at least three percent (3%) of the total number of seats in the Legislative Assembly of the State, or at least three seats in the Assembly, whichever is more.

 

Benefits:

  1. If a party is recognised as a State Party’, it is entitled for exclusive allotment of its reserved symbol to the candidates set up by it in the State in which it is so recognised, and if a party is recognised as a `National Party’ it is entitled for exclusive allotment of its reserved symbol to the candidates set up by it throughout India.
  2. Recognised `State’ and `National’ parties need only one proposer for filing the nomination and are also entitled for two sets of electoral rolls free of cost at the time of revision of rolls and their candidates get one copy of electoral roll free of cost during General Elections.
  3. They also get broadcast/telecast facilities over Akashvani/Doordarshan during general elections.
  4. Political parties are entitled to nominate “Star Campaigners” during General Elections. A recognized National or State party can have a maximum of 40 “Star campaigners” and a registered un-recognised party can nominate a maximum of 20 ‘Star Campaigners”.
  5. The travel expenses of star campaigners are not to be accounted for in the election expense accounts of candidates of their party.