Political party registration in Bihar plays an essential role in democratic societies, providing a means for citizens to express their political views and participate in the governance of their country. In India, political parties are required to register with the Election Commission of India (ECI) to contest elections and receive certain privileges and benefits.
Political party registration refers to the process of registering a political organization as a recognized party with the Election Commission of India. It is a legal requirement for parties to contest elections and receive certain privileges, such as access to the electoral roll and allotment of party symbols.
Legal Provisions: The registration of political parties in India is governed by the Representation of the People Act, 1951, and the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968. These laws set out the requirements for political party registration, including the minimum number of members, rules for party constitution and organization, and procedures for applying for registration.
Rules: To register a political party in Bihar, the following rules must be followed:
- The party must have at least seven members who are registered voters in Bihar.
- The party must have a constitution and follow the rules and procedures set out by the ECI.
- The party must submit an application for registration, along with supporting documents, to the ECI.
- The party must not violate any laws or engage in any activities that are contrary to the public interest.
Types: Political parties in India can be classified into three types:
- National Parties: These are parties that are recognized as national parties by the Election Commission of India and have a significant presence in multiple states.
- State Parties: These are parties that are recognized as state parties by the Election Commission of India and have a significant presence in a single state.
- Unrecognized Parties: These are parties that are not recognized by the Election Commission of India and cannot contest elections.
Advantages: The advantages of political party registration include:
- The ability to contest elections and receive party symbols.
- Access to the electoral roll and other voter data.
- Eligibility for certain benefits and privileges, such as government funding and access to media coverage.
- Increased credibility and legitimacy in the eyes of the public.
Disadvantages: The disadvantages of political party registration include:
- The need to follow strict rules and procedures set out by the Election Commission of India.
- The potential for increased scrutiny and regulation by government authorities.
- The risk of losing party recognition if the party fails to meet certain requirements or violates any laws.
Documents Required: To register a political party in Bihar, the following documents are required:
- A copy of the party constitution.
- A declaration stating that the party is committed to upholding the principles of democracy and the Constitution of India.
- A list of office bearers and members of the party, along with their addresses and voter ID numbers.
- A demand draft for the prescribed fee.
The salient feature in the PPRTMS is that the applicant, who is applying for party registration from 1st January, 2020 will be able to track the progress of his/her application and will get status update through SMS and e-mail. The status can be tracked through the Commission’s portal at link https://pprtms.eci.gov.in/.
The Commission in the month of December, 2019, has amended the guidelines and issued a Press Note dated 02.12.2019 regarding registration of political party for the information of the general public.
The application must be accompanied by the following documents/information:-
(i) A demand draft for Rs. 10,000/- (Rupees Ten Thousand Only) on account of processing fee drawn in favour of Under Secretary, Election Commission of India, New Delhi. The processing fee is non-refundable.
(ii) A neatly typed/printed copy of the memorandum/rules and regulations/Constitution of the Party containing a specific provision as required under sub-section (5) of Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 in the exact terms, which reads “—————(name of the party) shall bear true faith and allegiance to the constitution of India as by law established, and to the principles of socialism, secularism and democracy and would uphold the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India”. The above mandatory provision must be included in the text of party constitution/rules and regulations/memorandum itself as one of the Articles/clauses.
(iii) The copy of the party Constitution should be duly authenticated on each page by the General Secretary/President/Chairman of the Party and the seal of the signatory should be affixed thereon.
(iv) There should be a specific provision in the Constitution/rules and regulations/memorandum of the party regarding organizational elections at different levels and the periodicity of such elections and terms of office of the office-bearers of the party.
(v) The procedure to be adopted in the case of merger/dissolution should be specifically provided in the Constitution/rules and regulations/memorandum.
(vi) Certified extracts from the latest electoral rolls in respect of at least 100 members of the party (including all office-bearers/members of main decision-making organs like Executive Committee/Executive Council) to show that they are registered electors.
(vii) An affidavit duty signed by the President/General Secretary of the party and sworn before a First Class Magistrate/Oath Commissioner)/ Notary Public to the effect that no member of the party is a member of any other political party registered with the Commission.
(viii) Individual affidavits from at least 100 members of the party to the effect that the said member is a registered elector and that he is not a member of any other political party registered with the Commission duly sworn before a First Class Magistrate/Oath Commissioner)/Notary Public. These affidavits shall be in addition to the furnishing of certified extracts of electoral rolls in respect of the 100 members of the applicant party mentioned at (vi) above.
(ix)Particulars of Bank accounts and Permanent Account Number, if any, in the name of the party.
(x)Duly completed CHECK LIST alongwith requisite documents prescribed therein.
The application along with all the required documents mentioned above should reach the Secretary to the Commission within 30 days following the date of formation of the party.
Any application made after the said period will be time-barred.
Criteria for recognition of a party:
1. A political party shall be treated as a recognised political party in a State, if and only if either the conditions specified in Clause (A) are, or the condition specified in Clause (B) is, fulfilled by that party and not otherwise, that is to say-
(A) That such party – has been engaged in political activity for a continuous period of five years; and has, at the last general election in that State to the House of the People, or, as the case may be, to the Legislative Assembly of the State, returned-either
- At least one member to the House of the People for every twenty-five members of that House or any fraction of that number from that State;
- or (ii) at least one member to the Legislative Assembly of that State for every thirty members of that Assembly or any fraction of that number;
(B) that the total number of valid votes polled by all the contesting candidates set up by such party at the last general election in the State to the House of the People, or as the case may be, to the Legislative Assembly of the State, is not less than six per cent of the total number of valid votes polled by all the contesting candidates at such general election in the State.
The conditions in Clause (A) or Clause (B) above shall not be deemed to have been fulfilled by a political party, if a member of the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly of the State becomes a member of that political party after his election to that House or, as the case may be, that Assembly.
2. ‘State’ includes the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
3. If a political party is treated as a recognised political party in four or more States, it shall be known as a `National Party’ throughout the whole of India, but only so long as that political party continues to fulfill thereafter the conditions for recognition in four or more States on the results of any subsequent general election either to the House of the People or to the Legislative Assembly of any State.
4. If a political party is treated as a recognised political party in less than four States, it should be known as a `State Party’ in the State or States in which it is so recognised, but only so long as that political party continues to fulfill thereafter the conditions for recognition on the results of any subsequent general election to the House of the People or, as the case may be, to the Legislative Assembly of the State, in the said State or States.
- Do you have to register to vote every election?
Ans: No, once you have registered to vote, you do not have to re-register for each election. Re-registration is necessary only if you have moved or legally changed your name.
- How long do I have to register to vote?
Ans: Check your registration information before your state’s deadline to register to vote. That could be up to 30 days before the election. If you have to re-register or make any changes, you will have time to get it done.
- How are the two main parties organized?
Ans: A two-party system is a party system where two major political parties dominate the political landscape. At any point in time, one of the two parties typically holds a majority in the legislature and is usually referred to as the majority or governing party while the other is the minority or opposition party.
- What do liberals stand for?
Ans: Liberalism is a political and moral philosophy based on liberty, consent of the governed, and equality before the law.
- How do I change my voting address?
Ans: As long as you reside in the same county, you can change your information online at the Secretary of State’s Voter Registration Name/Address Change website. The screen will prompt you through the process and the changes that you make will be forwarded to your county Voter Registrar for processing.
The formation of a political party in Bihar involves several steps and requirements, as outlined below:
Form a group: The first step in forming a political party is to form a group of like-minded individuals who share a common political ideology or agenda.
Draft a constitution: The group must draft a constitution that outlines the party’s organizational structure, rules and procedures, and objectives.
Choose a name: The party must choose a unique and appropriate name that is not already in use by another party. The name must not be obscene or offensive.
Register with the Election Commission: The party must submit an application for registration with the Election Commission of India (ECI) along with supporting documents such as the party constitution, list of office bearers and members, and a demand draft for the prescribed fee. The party must have at least seven members who are registered voters in Bihar.
Approval by the ECI: The ECI will review the party’s application and supporting documents and approve the registration if all requirements are met. The ECI may also ask for additional information or clarification if required.
Public announcement: Once the party is registered, it must make a public announcement in at least two newspapers regarding its formation and registration.
Apply for party symbol: The party can then apply for a party symbol from the ECI. The ECI will allot a symbol from its list of reserved symbols to the party based on availability.
Establish party office: The party must establish a party office in Bihar and appoint office bearers to manage the affairs of the party.
Build party base: The party must build its base by recruiting new members, organizing rallies and events, and engaging with voters to promote its ideology and agenda.
Overall, the process of forming a political party in Bihar is a rigorous and time-consuming process, but it is necessary to contest elections and have a voice in the democratic process. It requires careful planning, organization, and commitment to the party’s principles and objectives.