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Registered Unrecognised Political Parties Increased: ADR

  • 08 Feb 2021
  • 4 min read

Why in News

According to a report by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), the number of registered unrecognised political parties has increased two-fold from 2010 to 2019.

  • ADR is an Indian non-governmental organization established in 1999 situated in New Delhi.

Key Points

  • Registered Unrecognised Political Parties:
    • Meaning:
      • Either newly registered parties or those which have not secured enough percentage of votes in the assembly or general elections to become a state party, or those which have never contested elections since being registered are considered unrecognised parties.
      • Such parties don’t enjoy all the benefits extended to the recognised parties.
        • Recognised Political Party:
          • A recognised political party shall either be a National party or a State party if it meets certain laid down conditions.
          • To become a recognised political party either at the state or national level, a party has to secure a certain minimum percentage of polled valid votes or certain number of seats in the state legislative assembly or the Lok Sabha during the last election.
          • The recognition granted by the Commission to the parties determines their right to certain privileges like allocation of the party symbols, provision of time for political broadcasts on the state-owned television and radio stations and access to electoral rolls.
    • Election Commission’s Guidelines:
      • The Election Commission of India issued guidelines on 'Transparency and Accountability in party funds and election expenditure – submission of reports by unrecognised political parties' which were applicable to all political parties w.e.f 1st October, 2014.
      • As per these guidelines:
        • All unrecognised parties are required to submit their requisite reports in the office of the respective state Chief Election Officers (CEOs).
        • Scanned copies of annual audited accounts, contribution reports and statements of election expenditure shall be uploaded on the websites of CEOs of the respective states, within three days of receipt of the same for viewing by the public.
  • Findings:
    • Increased Number:
      • There are 2,360 political parties registered with the Election Commission of India and 97.50% of them are unrecognised.
      • From 1,112 registered unrecognised parties in 2010, the number has increased to 2,301 in 2019.
    • Donation to these Parties:
      • The contribution reports of only 78 or 3.39% of the total 2,301 registered unrecognised parties are available in the public domain for Financial Year (FY) 2018-19.
  • Recommendations of ADR:
    • 255 parties were delisted in 2016 from the list of registered unrecognised parties as they were no longer in existence or functioning.
      • This exercise should continue so as to weed out all political parties which do not contest in any election for more than 5 years and also as a means to strengthen the registration process.
    • Regulation of registration of political parties is crucial to avoid money laundering, corrupt electoral practices and abuse of money power.
      • Thus, the ECI should impose strict norms for the registration of an association of persons as a political party apart from taking the stringent step of de-listing those parties which fail to adhere to the rules.
    • IT scrutiny of unrecognised parties should be taken up, especially of those which do not contest in elections but declare receipt of voluntary contributions.

Source: TH

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