In our country, every year elections are held in one or the other state. And before election polling, different parties get involved in their campaigns like BJP, Congress, AAP, SP, BSP, TMC, etc.
But do u know that there are currently 2858 such parties registered with the Election Commission of India? Have you ever thought that how these political parties are formed?
In this article, we will discuss, the process of forming a new political party in India.
As we know, ECI (Election Commission of India) is responsible for conducting elections in India and for making its rules and regulations. And election commission itself is the sole authority that registers the new political parties.
By the way, there are many types of political parties in India, but the election commission officially classifies the political parties registered with it, in only 3 parts:
- National Political Party
- State Political Party
- Unrecognized Political Party
Whenever a new political party is registered, it comes under the category of the unrecognized political party. There are certain criteria to become a state or a national political party. After every election, the election commission analyses the performance of the political parties and if any party fulfills the conditions which are required to become a state or a national party, It grants them that status and revises their lists.
According to the latest publication of 2021 from the Election Commission of India, out of the total 2858 registered parties, only 8 are national parties, 54 are state parties, and the remaining 2796, still come under the category of unrecognized parties. Although this data is as per the publication of 23 September 2021, after that many more parties would have been added to it.
Stepwise process of registering a political party
To create a new political party, first of all, a minimum of 100 members are required who have a voter id-card which is issued by the election commission of India. In other words, they should be citizens of India whose name is in the voter list of the ECI. Along with this, there should be an office area, where all the meetings of the party are to be held. After this, A meeting of all the party members is called, in which all the basic things of the party are decided by passing resolutions with the unanimous consent of all the members of the party.
These include the name of the party, office-bearers of the party like the president, vice-president, general secretaries, in-charges, etc. Along with this, A constitution of the party is made in this meeting in which the rules and regulations of the party are written.
- The name of the party
- Membership rules of the party
- Selection or election process of the office bearers, and their powers and duties
- The way in which accounts of the party would be operated, etc.
- A special article has to be inserted into the party’s constitution in which it is mentioned that the party will keep its allegiance to the Indian Constitution and will remain fully committed to the principles of Socialism, Secularism, and Democracy.
- It has to be mentioned in the party’s constitution that the party will never be part of any violence and neither promote nor support any such activity in the future.
- The party has to declare that they will take part in the elections conducted by the ECI within 5 years of the establishment of the party.
- Apart from these, the most important article which must be part of the party’s constitution is the amendment clause, how amendments could be made in the party’s constitution, must be mentioned in a proper way.
After completing these steps, comes the turn to apply for registering the party with the election commission of India.
The rules and regulations of the manner in which the registration of any party will be done are given in section 29A of The Representation of People Act 1951.
According to it, The newly formed party has to submit an application for registration to ECI within 30 days of its establishment. In this application, the basic details of the party are filled like the name of the party, office bearers’ details, address of the office, etc.
A few documents are also required to be attached with the application which includes
- photograph, aadhar card and pan card copies of the office bearers of the party along with thier latest 3 years ITR detials.
- list of all the members of the party along with the copy of their voter id cards and a seperate affidavit by everyone which implies he or she is not a member of any other political party and become the member of this party with his or her own free will without any pressure.
- A copy of party’s constitution, which is passed with the consent of all the members of the party.
- NOC(No Objecetion Certificate) from the party office area land’s landlord, mentioning he or she have no objection with party having an office on that land.
- NOC from the local government (Panchyat in case of rural and Muncipal corporation in case of urban area), mentioning that the people of the neighborhood around the office area, do not have any problem due to the presence of that office in that area.
These documents along with some other documents which ECI notifies on their website attached with the application form need to be submitted within the 30 days time period with a demand draft of rupees 10000 (which is non-refundable) to the election commission of India.
ECI after receiving this application along with all documents begins its process.
First of all ECI checks for the availability of the name proposed by the party, if it’s available, it acknowledges the party for the same otherwise it asks the party to propose a different name.
After receiving this acknowledgment, the party has to give notifications about their registration in newspapers. These notifications have to be published in 2 National circulating English newspapers and 2 local language newspapers, and the notifications need to be published for 2 consecutive days. That means a total of 8 notifications have to be published. The party has to share a copy of these notifications with the ECI so that they can also publish the same on their website. The purpose of putting these public notices is, if in case someone has objection with the registration of such political party, they can report it to ECI. The party has to answer the ECI regarding the objection made and clear the matter. The total time period for raising any objection against the party’s registration is 30 days. Side by side ECI verifies the documents sent by the party and checks for the background of the office-bearers of the party by taking help from Intelligence agencies of India. After completion of this 30 days time period or fulfillment of all the objections raised if any, ECI calls the president or any other office-bearer of the party for an interview. In this Interview, ECI asks questions about the membership process of the party, finances, and constitution of the party. After completion of this interview, if the ECI finds the answers from the office-bearer of the party satisfactory, it grants the party the status of an unrecognized registered political party and publishes the registration details of the party in its official gazette.
After its registration, the party now can apply for its official PAN card to officially receive donations.
You may refer to this video if you want the explanation in Hindi