Graded action to be initiated against over 2,100 unrecognised political parties: ECI

Tags: National

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has decided to initiate graded action against over 2,100 Registered Unrecognised Political Parties (RUPPs) for non-compliance with statutory requirements under the Representation of the People (RP) Act.

  • All the parties have been accused of financial irregularities and non-submission of annual audit reports on time and not giving details of election expenses.

  • There are also a large number of such parties, who have not participated in the 2019 elections, yet they have got tax exemption of crores.

  • During verification, 87 parties were found to be non-existent.

  • They will be removed from the list and their benefits will be withdrawn under the Symbol Order (1968).

  • According to ECI over 92% of the then listed 2,354 RUPPs did not file their contribution reports in 2019.

  • In the year 2018-19, 199 parties claimed income tax exemption of ₹ 445 crore while in 2019-20, 219 parties claimed exemption of ₹ 608 crore.

  • Of these, 66 parties had sought exemption without submitting the mandatory contribution report.

  • In addition, 2,056 parties were yet to file annual audit accounts for 2019.

  • In 2019, only 623 parties contested the Lok Sabha elections.

  • Mandatory legal provisions

  • The registered parties are required to comply with Section 29 C of the Representation of the People (RP) Act and submit a contribution report.

  • Such contributions were given 100% exemption from income tax as an incentive to parties to strengthen electoral democracy. 

  • Section 29A (9) of the Act mandates every political party to inform the Commission about any change in its name, head office, office bearers, address, PAN without any delay.

  • Parties will have to make a provision that they have to contest elections conducted by the Election Commission within five years of registration.

  • On participating in the election, they have to submit their election expenditure statement within 75 days in case of Assembly elections and within 90 days in case of Lok Sabha elections.

  • Any aggrieved party can approach the concerned Chief Electoral Officer with full facts within 30 days of the order of the Election Commission.

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