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Indian Polity

Registered Unrecognised Political Parties (RUPP)

  • 23 Jun 2022
  • 9 min read

For Prelims: Election Commission,Recognised Political Party , Representation of the People Act, 1951

For Mains: Significance of the Representation of People Act

Why in News?

The Election Commission ordered the deletion of 111 registered unrecognised political parties that it found to be “non-existent” and referred three of the parties to the Department of Revenue for legal action for “serious financial impropriety".

  • This was the second such action in the recent past against registered parties that have been found violating the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
  • Earlier, the EC had deleted 87 non-existent registered unrecognised political parties.
  • The EC said the 111 parties in question had violated sections of the Act that required them to submit their address of communication and any change in address to the EC.

What are the Key Points related to the Political Parties?

  • Registered Unrecognised Political Parties (RUPP):
    • 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.
What are the Conditions for Recognition of Political Parties?
Conditions For Recognition of National Parties Conditions for Recognition as a State Party
  • A party is recognised as a national party if any of the following conditions is fulfilled:
    • If it secures 6% of valid votes polled in any four or more states at a general election to the Lok Sabha or to the legislative assembly and in addition, it wins four seats in the Lok Sabha from any state or states, or
    • If it wins 2% of seats in the Lok Sabha at a general election and these candidates are elected from three states, or
    • If it is recognised as a state party in four states.
  • A party is recognised as a state party in a state if any of the following conditions is fulfilled:
    • If it secures 6% of the valid votes polled in the state at a general election to the legislative assembly of the state concerned and in addition, it wins 2 seats in the assembly of the state concerned or
    • If it secures 6% of the valid votes polled in the state at a general election to the Lok Sabha from the state concerned and in addition, it wins 1 seat in the Lok Sabha from the state concerned or
    • If it wins 3% 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 or
    • If it wins 1 seat in the Lok Sabha for every 25 seats or any fraction thereof allotted to the state at a general election to the Lok Sabha from the state concerned or
    • If it secures 8% of the total valid votes polled in the state at a General Election to the Lok Sabha from the state or to the legislative assembly of the state. This condition was added in 2011.

      The Representation of the People Act (RPA)

      • Introduction:
        • The holding of free and fair elections is the sine-qua-non of democracy. To ensure the conduct of elections in free, fair and in an impartial manner, the constitution-makers incorporated Part XV (Articles.324-329) in the constitution and empowered Parliament to make laws to regulate the electoral process.
        • In this context, the Parliament has enacted the Representation of the People Act (RPA), 1950 and Representation of the People Act,1951.
      • Representation of the People Act (RPA), 1950
        • Key Provisions:
          • Lays down procedures for delimitation of constituencies.
          • Provides for the allocation of seats in the House of the People and in the Legislative Assemblies and Legislative Councils of States.
          • Lays procedure for the preparation of electoral rolls and the manner of filling seats.
          • Lays down the qualification of voters.
      • Representation of the People Act (RPA) of 1951:
        • Key Provisions:
          • It regulates the actual conduct of elections and by-elections.
          • It provides administrative machinery for conducting elections.
          • It deals with the registration of political parties.
          • It specifies the qualifications and disqualifications for membership of the Houses.
          • It provides provisions to curb corrupt practices and other offences.
          • It lays down the procedure for settling doubts and disputes arising out of elections.

      UPSC Civil Services, Previous Year Questions (PYQ)

      Q. Consider the following statements:

      1. In India, there is no law restricting the candidates from contesting in one Lok Sabha election from three constituencies.
      2. In the 1991 Lok Sabha Election, Shri Devi Lal contested from three Lok Sabha constituencies.
      3. As per the existing rules, if a candidate contests in one Lok Sabha election from many constituencies, his/her party should bear the cost of bye-elections to the constituencies vacated by him/her winning in all the constituencies.

      Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

      (a) 1 only
      (c) 1 and 3
      (b) 2 only
      (d) 2 and 3

      Ans:(b)

      Exp:

      • In 1996, the Representation of the People Act, 1951 was amended to restrict from ‘three’ to ‘two’ the number of seats one candidate could contest in Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. Hence, statement 1 is not correct.
      • In 1991, Shri Devi Lal contested three Lok Sabha seats,Sikar, Rohtak and Ferozepur seats. Hence, statement 2 is correct.
      • Whenever a candidate contests from more than one seat and wins more than one, the candidate has to retain only one, forcing bypolls in the rest. It results
        in an unavoidable financial burden on the public exchequer, government manpower and other resources for holding by-election against the resultant vacancy. Hence, statement 3 is not correct.
      • Therefore, option (b) is the correct answer.

      Source:TH

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