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Registration of political parties

Topics Covered: Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

Registration of political parties:


Context:

The Election Commission has said it had reduced the public notice period for new political parties seeking registration from 30 days to seven days due to the delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The relaxation in notice period would remain in force till the last dates of nomination for the Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry and West Bengal elections, that is March 19 and April 7 respectively.
  • According to guidelines, the applicants are supposed to publish the proposed name of their party in two national and local daily newspapers each on two days, seeking objections, if any, within 30 days.

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 Election Commission has to submit an application to the Commission within the said period 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:

  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.
  2. In addition, it wins at least four seats in the House of the People from any State or States.
  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:

  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
  2. In addition, it wins at least two seats in the Legislative Assembly of the State concerned.
  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. The travel expenses of star campaigners are not to be accounted for in the election expense accounts of candidates of their party.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Registration of Political Parties.
  2. Recognised vs Unrecognised political parties.
  3. State vs National parties.
  4. Benefits for recognised political parties.
  5. Who is a star campaigner?
  6. Article 324 of the Indian Constitution.
  7. Section 29A of RPA 1951.

Sources: the Hindu.