Political Party: Concept and Registration Process in India
Registration of a Political Party in India acts as an investment of trust, belief and faith for the Indian People. Before starting the campaign process for your Political Party, it needs to get its Political Party registered with the Election Commission of India. In India, registration of a Political Party is must, following which it can be eligible under the regulations of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. At present, India has over 2143 registered political party out of which 400 were formed in the last five year.
As per the Act, for registration, body or association of persons are required to apply to the Election Commission of India wherein full details required under subsection (4) of section 29A of the Representation of People Act, 1951 along with the supplementary documents as are necessary for the Political Party Registration.
Critical Points for Filling an Application for Registration
- The application filed must be neatly written or typed on the party’s letterhead.
- Within 30 days from the date of the party’s formation, the application should be either sent by a registered post or handed over personally to the Secretary of the Election Commission.
- An application will be considered as Time-Barred if filed after the prescribed period of 30 days.
- It is pertinent to state that all the pages of the application of political party registration must be serially numbered inclusive annexure.
Eligibility Criteria for Registration
- According to the Election commission of India, for registration, there must be at least 100 members present in the new political party.
- Each member of the proposed party should possess a Voter ID card.
- Possessing a Voter ID card implies that the particular member is above the age of eighteen.
Rules to be followed while constituting a Political Party
- Name – The name of the concerned Political Party must not contain any of the gender, caste or religion.
- Objective – The objective and aim of the party must align with the Indian Constitution of India.
- Membership – All the adults should be allowed to be a member of the party. Further, no member of the party should be discriminated based on gender, caste or religion.
- Decision Making – Democratic spirit must be reflected in the decision making or the functions or the powers of the political party. No use of any Veto power should be there.
- Nomination – For a period, not more than five years, not more than one-third of the total members can be nominated. The periodic elections take place within a maximum of five years.
- Party Funds – Political Activities should take place only by utilizing the party funds. Further, the monthly accounts should be maintained after using funds.
- Audit of Accounts – The political party must get its accounts audited on an annual basis. The concerned auditor must be from the panel of the Comptroller Auditor General (CAG). Lastly, within six months from the end of the financial year, the accounts audited must be submitted to the Election Commission of India (ECI).
- Checklist – A complete list with the clear answer for each document may be submitted along with the application for the registration of the Political Party.
Procedure for Registration
- Within thirty days, from the date of party’s formation, the party must submit an application for the registration of the political party to the Secretary of the Election Commission of India, Nirvachan Sadan, Ashok Road, New Delhi- 110001.
- Prescribed Performa issued by the commission and the necessary guidelines are available on the Commission’s website.
- The commission generally takes four-month period to process the application of the new political parties.
- For thirty days from applying, the commission allows the general public to raise their objections and issues against the political party.
- The applicant or the representative of the proposed party must declare their intention of forming a political party, by issuing a notice in the newspaper.
- After the completion of thirty days, in case no objections or issues are raised by the general public, commission will move further by examining the documents submitted. Confirmation can be granted within four to five months of the submission of the application.
- After confirmation obtained from commission, the next step for the political party is to select a symbol for the election. Selection of the symbol is to be from the symbols available with the commission.
- In case the members are not satisfied with the choice of symbol, then the members can select a symbol on their own or can even submit a sketch for the commission’s approval.
- A Demand Draft of rupees ten thousand needs to be drawn in the favour the Secretary of the Election Commission of India. It is significant to state that the processing fee for the registration is non-refundable.
- The political party’s Memorandum of Association (MOA) and Article of Association (AOA) must include the regulations regarding different level organizational elections, periodicity of the elections, and an office-bearer of the party and the terms of office.
- An affidavit that no member of the party is a member with any other registered political party.
- An affidavit is declaring both the personal information and past criminal records of the members.
- A No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the premise owner, where the party’s registered office is situated. NOC should be in the form duly stamped affidavit.
- A copy of the party’s constitution, which is approved by the Chairman/ President/ General Secretary of the party. Further, the document must bear the seal of the signatory.
- Particulars of both PAN card and Bank Account, bearing the name of the furnishing party.
- Extracts of the latest electoral polls, at least 100 party members should be the registered voters.
- Every office bearer of the party must declare his assets, wealth and investment, made either by them or by their spouse and children.
- Individual affidavit of each member declaring that the party members are the registered voter and not the member of any other political party.