Election Commission cancels 86 non-existent registered political parties, declares 253 inactive

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NEW DELHI : Continuing the action launched on May 25 to enforce compliance by registered unrecognized political parties, India’s Election Commission today delisted 86 non-existent RUPPs and declared 253 “inactive RUPPs.” This action against 339 non-compliant RUPPs amounts to 537 defaulting RUPPs.

“Under the legal requirements under Section 29A of the RP Act, any political party must promptly notify the Commission of any change in its name, headquarters, office holders, address and PAN. It has been determined that 86 RUPPs do not exist, either after a physical verification performed by the respective Chief Electoral Officers of the concerned States/UTs or based on a report of undelivered letters/messages from the Postal Authority sent to the registered address of the concerned RUPP have been sent.” The Election Commission reports this in a statement.

“It may be recalled that ECI canceled 87 RUPPs and 111 RUPPs through orders dated May 25, 2022 and June 20, 2022, bringing the total number of RUPPs canceled to 284,” it added.

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According to the Election Commission of India, this decision was made against 253 non-compliant RUPPs based on reports received from Chief Electoral Officers of seven states namely Bihar, Delhi, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh.

“These 253 RUPPs have been declared inactive because they have not responded to the letter/message delivered to them and have not participated in a single election to a state’s General Assembly or the 2014 and 2019 parliamentary elections. These RUPPs are there failed to meet regulatory requirements for more than 16 compliance steps since 2015 and are at fault,” it said in a statement.

It is also noted that of the above 253 parties, 66 RUPPs actually applied for a common symbol under paragraph 10B of the Symbol’s Order 1968 and did not participate in the respective elections.

It is pertinent to note that the privilege of a common symbol is given to RUPP on the basis of a commitment to field at least 5 percent of the total number of candidates with regard to the election of a state’s legislative assembly. It cannot be excluded that such parties occupy the available political space for the elections by using permitted rights without contesting the elections. This also tends to crowd out the political parties that actually participate in the elections and also create a confusing situation for voters.

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The Commission notes that the primary purpose of the registration of political parties is contained in Article 29A, which lists the privileges and benefits accruing to an association once it has been registered as a political party, and all these benefits and privileges are directly related to the said participation in the electoral processes.

Accordingly, the 13(ii)(e) Political Party Registration Guidelines issued by the Commission on the Condition of Registration reads as follows: “Declares that that party must contest an election conducted by the Election Commission within five years of its registration and thereafter must continue to fight. (If the party does not run continuously in elections for six years, the party will be removed from the list of registered parties).

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The Commission is aware that observance of birth conditions, which are a combination of mandatory and self-recognized provisions, is a necessary condition for maintaining financial discipline, decency, public accountability and transparency.

“The compliances act as the building blocks of a transparency mechanism to inform voters about the issues of the political parties needed to make informed choices. In the absence of required compliance, the electorate and the Election Commission are caught off guard,” the Election Commission said in a statement.

“In addition, all of these listed legal requirements directly affect the Commission’s constitutional mandate to hold free, fair and transparent elections,” it added.

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