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September 15, 2019
National Politics

A flurry of parties ahead of polls

17 of the 58 new registrations in three months were from election-bound States.

As many as 58 political parties have been registered with the Election Commission in the past three months, taking the total number of registered, unrecognised parties to 2,143.

Of these, 17 are from four of the five States where Assembly elections are being held.

These many new parties were registered between June 20 and September 26. Eight of the new entrants are from Rajasthan, five from Telangana, three from Madhya Pradesh and one from Mizoram.

“The list keeps changing, with new additions and deletions over a period of time,” an EC official said. In all, 255 such parties were de-listed between February and December 2016.

Applications of 13 more parties are currently under the commission’s consideration and public notices have been issued seeking objections.

More than 2,100

The total number of registered, unrecognised political parties has doubled between 2009 and 2018, and has now crossed the 2,100 mark.

A flurry of parties ahead of polls

According to the EC’s October 15 notification, 2,069 political parties were registered till April 13, 2018, as amended from time to time.

While 25 new entries were made in January and February of 2017, 12 more were added in on October and November last year.

Uttar Pradesh, which accounts for the highest number of 80 Lok Sabha seats in the country, continues to top the list with 15 new political entities getting registered in recent months, followed by the poll-bound States of Rajasthan and Telangana that registered nine each.

In Tamil Nadu, eight new political outfits were registered with the Election Commission.

Delhi, a Union Territory, saw six new registrations, followed by five in Karnataka, four each in Andhra Pradesh and Haryana and three in Bihar. Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and the Union Territory of Dadar Nager Haveli saw emergence of one political party each.

‘Anti-incumbency sign’

According to political analyst and ORF fellow Rasheed Kidwai, the increasing number of new political parties is an indication of an upcoming “anti-incumbent” election.

“Actually, new political parties are seeking to stake out ‘ideological space’ not claimed by more established parties. Usually, new political parties are born when a large community of our society feel that some of their issues and concerns have failed to get a patient hearing for quite sometime. They are focused on one issue and want a sensitive approach towards their issues. I strongly believe that emergence of new political parties is a healthy phenomenon,” Mr. Kidwai said.

The coming Assembly polls will be the last major election cycle before the 2019 general elections. Both the BJP and the Congress have viewed the election as a “gateway to 2019 general elections”.

In the 2014 general elections, the BJP had secured a 31% vote share, while 69% was bagged by other parties, which included 19.3% of the Congress.

The rise of small parties only plays spoilsport in some seats where the BJP and the Congress are locked in a close contest, said an MP from the BJP.

The assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram and Telangana are to be held from November 12 to December 7. Counting will be done on December 11.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/a-flurry-of-parties-ahead-of-polls/article25353803.ece

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