[Answered] What are registered unrecognized political parties (RUPPs)? Highlight the issues associated with RUPPs.

Introduction: Explain registered unrecognized political parties (RUPPs).
Body: Explain various issues associated with RUPPs.
Conclusion: Write a way forward.

RUPPs are political parties whose vote share is below a threshold needed for recognition. These parties don’t enjoy all the benefits extended to the recognised parties such as reserving a separate symbol for the party, subsidized land for party office etc. If a party satisfies any one of below-mentioned criteria, then they are called Registered Unrecognised Political Parties. The conditions are:

  • If the political party is newly registered.
  • If the political party not secured enough percentage of votes in Assembly or General Elections to become a state party.
  • Political Parties that never contested in elections since they got registered with the Election Commission.

Issues associated with RUPPS:

  • The majority of these parties did not contest elections or file their contribution reports and annual statements and therefore violated the law. This defeated the purpose of a clean electoral system.
  • The Election Commission has reported that the majority of unrecognised parties do not adhere to statutory compliances, such as filing documents related to funding and taxation, among others.
  • It is suspected that several unrecognised parties may be engaged in money laundering, corrupt electoral practices and abuse of money power, given the income tax exemptions they enjoy.
  • The Association of Democratic reforms has reported that the number of registered unrecognised political parties has increased twofold in the last 10 years. It also points out that the number of unrecognised parties increases disproportionately during the year of Parliamentary elections.

Election Commission of India should impose strict norms for the registration of an association of persons as a political party apart from taking the stringent step of de-listing those parties which fail to adhere to the rules.

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