A parliamentary panel has recommended regulating the registration or suspension of political parties through a law of Parliament to prevent “non-serious” players from misusing the benefits extended to registered political outfits.
Close on the heels of the
Election Commission (EC) flagging the misuse of political parties as conduits for the flow of illegal money, the parliamentary committee on personnel, public grievances law and justice has said in its latest report that the provisions relating to the registration of political parties needs to be made more stringent so that non-serious political parties are not able to register in the first place.
The panel wants the registration of all such parties that do not contest elections and exist only on paper to be cancelled.
“The possibility of regulating the registration of political parties and suspension/cancellation of their registration through a law of Parliament may also be explored to prevent misuse of facilities/benefits available to registered political parties by unscrupulous elements,” report submitted to Parliament this past week says.
In 2016, the EC initiated action against 225 parties out of the 1,864 registered (but non-recognised) ones for existing only on papers and had for never having contested any election since their formation.
The move is part of the poll panel’s drive to usher in electoral reforms, which also includes suggesting the lowering of cash donations to political parties from ₹20,000 to ₹2,000.
There are seven national parties, 48 state parties and 1,864 registered parties that are not recognised as on February 2017.
Registered but unrecognised political parties do not have the privilege of contesting elections on a symbol of their own.
They have to choose from a list of ‘free symbols’ issued by the commission.