Overview: A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. The main body governing the registering of political parties in India is the Election Commission of India (ECI). Registration of political parties is governed by the provisions of section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. It is common for the members of a party to hold similar ideas about politics, and parties y promote specific ideological or policy goals. 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.
Types of Political Parties: There are three types of Political Parties from the point of view of the Election Commission of India: -
i. National Party
ii. State Party
iii. Unrecognised Registered Party
Recognised Party: Those Parties which have secured enough percentage of votes in assembly or general elections. We can define Recognised Parties in two types as follows: -
1) National Party: A registered party is recognized as a National Party only if it fulfills any one of the following three conditions: -
i. A Party secures at least 6 percent of votes in any 4 or more states, at a general election of Lok Sabha or Legislative Assembly in addition it wins 4 Lok Sabha seats from any state or state.
ii. Party wins at least 2 percent of seats in the Lok Sabha (i.e., 11 seats out of 543 seats) and these members are elected from three different States.
iii. A party gets recognition as a National Party if it is already a State Party in four or more States.
*There are 8 Recognised National Parties in India As per the latest publication dated 23 September 2021 from the Election Commission of India Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP), Indian National Congress(INC) and Bahujan Samaj Party(BSP), etc.
2) State Party: For any political party to be eligible for recognition as a State Party in a state, it has to fulfill any one of the following five conditions: -
i. If A Party secures 6 percent of voters in the state at a general election to the legislative assembly of the state concerned and in addition, wins 2 seats in the assembly of the state concerned.
ii. If the Party secures 6 percent of voters in the state at a general election to the Lok Sabha from the state concerned and in addition, wins 1 seat in the Lok Sabha from the state concerned.
iii. If the Party secures 8 percent of the votes in the state at a general election to the Lok Sabha from the state or to the legislative assembly of the state. (As the condition was added in 2011)
iv. If the Party wins 3 percent of seats in the legislative assembly at a general election to the legislative assembly of the state concerned or 3 seats in the assembly, whichever is more.
v. If Party wins 1 seat in the general election to the Lok Sabha from the state for every 25 seats or any fraction thereof allotted to the State.
*There are 54 Recognised State Parties in India As per the latest publication dated 23 September 2021 from the Election Commission of India Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Samajwadi Party(SP) and Indian Union Muslim League(IUML), etc.
3) Unrecognised Registered Party: Either newly registered parties or those who have not secured enough votes in assembly or general elections to become a state party or those who have never contested in an election since being registered are considered unrecognized parties. According to the latest publication dated 23 September 2021 there are 2858 political parties registered with the ECI and 2796 out of the total are unrecognized parties.
*First of all, new parties will be registered as unrecognized parties.
Documents/Details for Registration: There are some steps to registering a Political Party: -
1. Firstly, all members conduct a meeting and decide all necessary things like Party Name, Membership rules, Party’s bearers persons, Party’s register address and make a Constitution of the Party containing a specific provision as required under subsection (5) of Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 in the exact terms.
The copy of the party constitution should be duly authenticated on each page by the General Secretary/President/Chairman of the Party and the deal of the signatory should be affixed thereon.
2. There must be at least 100 members (including all office-bearers/members of main decision-making organs like the Executive Committee) and each member of the proposed party should possess a Voter ID card.
3. Individual affidavits on the stamp paper of at least Rs. 2/- (Rupees Two Only) from all members of the party of the effect that the said member is a registered elector and that he is not a member of any other political party registered with the Commission duly sworn before a First-Class Magistrate/Notary Public.
4. All office-bearers/members of main decision-making organs like the Executive Committee/Executive Council attach copies of their Pan Card, Aadhar Card, Photos, and the Last three year’s ITR.
5. Party’s Registered address should not be at a government place and the NOC should be attached from the landlord.
6. A demand draft for Rs. 10,000/- (Rupees Ten Thousand Only) on the processing fee drawn in favor of the Under Secretary, Election Commission of India, New Delhi. The processing fee is non-refundable.
*The application must be submitted to the Commission within 30 days from the date of formation of the team along with all the requisite details/documents mentioned above. Any application submitted after the above period shall be barred under the provision of section 29(2)(b) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, and shall not be entertained.
*After submission, the applicant will have to release a notification in two national newspapers and two local newspapers for two days continuously. If anyone has any objection regarding this party formation, that person can submit his objection to the Election Commission of India within 30 days.
i. With 2 weeks from the receipt of a duly completed application will be given the acceptance of the application by the Election Commission of India.
ii. After acceptance of the application by the ECI, the applicant will be called for a personal hearing within a reasonable period of 2 or 3 months from the date of receipt of the complete application. If no letter is received from the Commission within this period, the applicant is advised to contact the Secretariat of the Commission.
iii. If the Election Commission of India is satisfied after all the clarification, then the party will be registered within 4 to 5 months.
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