Election Commission declares 253 RUPPs as inactive – bars them from availing benefits of the Symbol Order, 1968

Source: The post is based on the article “Election Commission declares 253 RUPPs as inactive – bars them from availing benefits of the Symbol Order, 1968published in The Hindu on 14th September 2022.

What is the News?

Election Commission of India has delisted 86 non-existent Registered Unrecognized Political Parties(RUPPs) and declared additional 253 as ‘Inactive RUPPs’.

What are Registered Unrecognized Political Parties(RUPPs)?

If a party satisfies any one of the below-mentioned criteria, then they are called Registered Unrecognized Political Parties(RUPPS). The conditions are: 

1) If the political party is newly registered, 

2) If the political party have not secured enough percentage of votes in Assembly or General Elections to become a State party, and 

3) Political Parties that have never contested in elections since they got registered with the Election Commission.

These parties are not entitled to an exclusive allotment of a reserved election symbol. They have to choose from a list of ‘free symbols’ issued by the Commission.

They are also not eligible either to get free copies of electoral rolls, free authorisation for broadcast/telecast facilities over All India Radio / Doordarshan during Assembly and general elections, and are not eligible for subsidized land for party offices.

Why has EC declared several RUPPs parties as non-existent and inactive?

Firstly, as per statutory requirements under section 29A of the RP Act, every political party has to communicate any change in its name, head office, office bearers, address, and PAN to the Commission without delay. 86 RUPPs have been found to be non-existent after physical verification.

Secondly, of the 253 RUPPs parties declared inactive, 66 RUPPs actually applied for a common symbol as per the Symbol’s Order 1968 and did not contest the respective elections. The privilege of a common symbol is given to RUPP based upon an undertaking for putting up at least 5% of total candidates with regard to said legislative assembly election of a State. 

Thirdly, according to EC guidelines, a political party must contest an election conducted by the Election Commission within five years of its registration and thereafter should continue to contest. If the Party does not contest elections continuously for six years, the Party shall be taken off the list of registered parties.

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