Unrecognised political parties
- Either newly registered parties (under the Representation of Peoples Act, 1951) or those which have not secured enough percentage of votes in Assembly or General Elections to become a State party or those which have never contested in elections since being registered are considered registered unrecognised political parties. Such parties don’t enjoy all the benefits extended to the recognised parties.
Provisions for recognised party status
- A recognised political party shall either be a National party or a State party if it meets certain laid down conditions.
- The Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968, lays down the criteria for declaring any registered political party as a national party or a state party.
- As per the Election symbols order, a registered political party needs to fulfil at least one of the following three conditions to be recognised as a national party:
- It needs to win a minimum two percent of seats in the Lok Sabha (11 seats) from at least three different states.
- It needs to get at least six percent of votes in four states in Lok Sabha and Assembly elections, in addition to winning four Lok Sabha seats.
- It needs to get recognised as a state party in four or more states.
- In order to be recognised as a state party, a political party needs to fulfil at least one of the four criteria laid down by the Election Commission of India.
- A political party will be recognised as a state party:
- If it wins three percent of the total seats in the Legislative Assembly of the state (subject to a minimum of three seats).
- If it wins one Lok Sabha seat for every 25 Lok Sabha seats allotted for the state.
- If it gets at least six percent of votes in a state during a Lok Sabha or Assembly election. In addition, it also needs to win at least one Lok Sabha or two Legislative Assembly seats.
- If it wins at least eight percent votes in a state during the Lok Sabha or Legislative Assembly elections.
Benefits of being a recognised state party or national party
- If a party is recognised as a ‘State Party’, it is entitled for exclusive allotment of its reserved symbol to the candidates set up by it in the State of States in which it is so recognised, and if a party is recognised as a `National Party’ it is entitled for exclusive allotment of its reserved symbol to the candidates set up by it throughout India.
- The registered unrecognised political parties do not have the privilege of contesting elections on affixed symbol of their own. They have to choose from a list of ‘free symbols’ issued by the Commission.
- However, the candidates set up by a political party registered with the Election Commission of India will get preference in the matter of allotment of free symbols vis-à-vis purely independent candidates.
- Recognised `State’ and `National’ parties need only one proposer for filing the nomination and are also entitled for two sets of electoral rolls free of cost and broadcast/telecast facilities over Akashvani/Doordarshan during general elections.
Why in News?
- The Election Commission has ordered the delisting of 86 registered unrecognised political parties it found to be “non-existent” and declared 253 others “inactive”.