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Poll register

Of the 900 political parties registered with the Election Commission, some small, fringe parties stand out. Here are five that made us sit up and take note

india Updated: Apr 07, 2009 21:46 IST


What began as a civil society group in 1996, with the primary aim of establishing “a new political culture that will place citizens at the centre of governance”, became a political party in 2006. Founded by Jayaprakash Narayan, a doctor who was in the Indian Administrative Service, Loksatta now has a strong presence in Andhra Pradesh and is contesting 294 assembly seats and 42 Lok Sabha seats. The Mumbai chapter of Loksatta was launched in January and it is supporting Meera Sanyal, an independent candidate from the South Mumbai Lok Sabha constituency. To become a member, visit


Professionals Party of India
Founded by R.V. Krishnan, the Professionals Party of India (PPI) was set up in September 2007 with the objective of "improving the quality of life of every Indian". The party was founded in Pune, where a bunch of like-minded professionals—including former multinational company executives, doctors, lawyers and teachers—got together and decided that the only way change could be brought about was by getting involved in the process of governance. The PPI now has 10,321 registered members, with 12 chapters across India. In Mumbai, two PPI candidates—Rajendra Thacker from North Mumbai and Mona Shah Patel from South Mumbai—are contesting the Lok Sabha election. For more details and to enrol as a member, visit www.ppi.net.in
Youth for Equality
Set up in 2006 to protest the reservation policy in educational institutes, Youth For Equality established a political wing in January. The group has around 20,000 registered members in 27 cities across 14 states. Members include medical, engineering, management and law students as well as lawyers, academics and media professionals. The YFE consists of four main bodies—the core council, the executive wing, the advisory board and the watchdog body. They have contacted resident welfare associations, NGOs, trader associations in the New Delhi constituency and asked these groups to nominate candidates. Ten short-listed candidates will face-off at a public debate and whoever gets the best rating will use the YFE platform, with YFE members campaigning for this "lok umeedwar" (people’s candidate). For more details and to enrol as a member, visit www.youthforequality.com
Bharatiya Rashtravadi Samanata Party
Shiva Khera, the Delhi-based management guru and author of the best-selling book You Can Win, founded the Bharatiya Rashtravadi Samanata Party (BRSP) in July but resigned from it earlier this year. The party has 6,000 registered members; most of them, says Tejendra Pal Tyagi, its general secretary, are "those who were thinking of leaving the country because of rampant corruption". It has a presence in 16 states, and is contesting the Lok Sabha and assembly elections. It also contested last year’s assembly elections in Delhi and Rajasthan. For more details and to enrol as a member, visit www.brsp.org
Positioned as a party of the youth, this party was set up in August 2007 by entrepreneur Deepak Mittal. Now it has around 50,000 registered members all over India. The Jago party contested 26 seats in the Rajasthan assembly election last year but failed to win any. This year, it is again fielding candidates for the 26 Lok Sabha seats in Rajasthan, three in Bihar and one (environmentalist Rakesh Agarwal) from the Mumbai North West constituency.