* The Great India Revolutioners, Roop Nagar, Delhi
* Life Peaceful Party, Tumkur, Karnataka
* Ministerial System Abolition Party, Kolkata, West Bengal
* Bharatiya Santaji Party, Nagpur, Maharashtra
CUTTING ACROSS the national map, these are just some of the 255 political parties “delisted” by the Election Commission of India following a review, which found that none of these outfits had put up any candidate for any assembly or general election from 2005 to 2015.
And, as The Indian Express found out while tracking down these parties and the faces behind them (see page 6), they include the All India Progressive Janata Dal, with its address registered as 17, Akbar Road, New Delhi, 110001, which is now the official residence of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
WATCH VIDEO | Election Commission Likely To Delist 200-Odd Political Parties: Find Out More
Then there’s the All India Homeless People Congress registered in West Bengal’s South 24 Parganas, and the Womanist Party of India in Mumbai’s Dombivli East.
This list was sent Wednesday by the EC to the chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), asking him to initiate “necessary action” since these parties are no longer entitled to any tax benefits that accrue to registered political entities.
The Indian Express had reported on December 21 about the election regulator’s decision to use its extraordinary powers under Article 324 of the Constitution to delist such parties as part of the review. Sources said that the list of 255 would be the first of several to be sent to the CBDT over the coming months.
On the first list, Delhi had the largest number of parties (52) that will no longer figure in EC records, followed by the country’s largest state Uttar Pradesh (41), Tamil Nadu (39) and Maharashtra (24).
In the national capital region, those behind such parties included a homoeopathy practitioner based in a three-storey bungalow in Gurgaon who claimed that he had wound up his outfit of “nine members”, Rashtriya Matrabhoomi Party, around “five or six years ago” due to “lack of funding”.
No details were available of the party that claimed to have been based at Akbar Road, but the registered address of another, Pavitra Hindustan Kaazhagam, at 11, Harish Chandra Mathur Lane, New Delhi, 110001, turned out to be the office of the J&K CID.
In at least five other cases in Delhi, The Indian Express was able to confirm what the EC had feared all along — many of these parties exist only on paper.
For instance, the address in Dwarka, of Rashtriya Manav Kalyan Sangh, is the residence of an employee of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA). “We have been living here for the last ten years… Until a year ago, we were receiving mail addressed to the party, including a booklet… Finally, after years of convincing, the post office stopped sending their mail here last year,” said the DDA employee, on condition of anonymity.
At Chamber 461, New Chamber Complex, Patiala House Courts, the registered address of Rashtriya Yuva Loktantrik Party, Advocate Lata Goswami claimed that the outfit was formed by her younger brother Radhemohan Upadhyay. Goswami said she had “nothing to do” with her brother and described the party as a “total fraud”.
Along with its list, the EC has also sent a covering letter to the CBDT chief, which stated: “…The commission has decided to review the cases of the unregistered unrecognised political parties, which do not set up any candidate at any of the General Elections to the House of the People and/or State Legislative Assemblies held during the period from the year 2005 to 2015 as per the Commission’s record, in order to consider whether they continue to exist and function from the registered office addresses available in the records of the Commission.”
The letter further said: “On such verification in the field made by the Chief Electoral Officer of the States/UTs through their official machinery, it has been reported to the Commission that some parties are no longer in existence or functioning.”
It added: “The Election Commission of India has so far deleted the names of 255 political parties… from the list of registered un-recognised political parties maintained by the Commission under the said Section 29A and and para 17 of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968. This is for your information and necessary action if any, in view of the provisions of Section 29B and 29C of R.P Act, 1951.”
Sources had told The Indian Express that the EC hopes that the CBDT will have a “close look” at the financials of these delisted parties so that a clear message can go out that forming a political party for “turning black money into white” is no longer a good idea.
EC data shows there are currently seven National Political Parties, 58 State Parties and 1,786 Registered Unrecognised Parties.
Under existing laws, the EC has the authority to register a political party but there is no provision to allow it to deregister any party that has been given recognition.