Sharp increase in number of registered political parties

New Delhi : A whopping 1,616 registered political parties are in the fray in the 2014 general elections, an increase of 556 since the last 2009 polls, according to the Election Commission.

The number of registered parties in 2009 general elections was 1,060.

Support TwoCircles

Candidates of parties which register themselves with the Election Commission get preference in the matter of allotment of free symbols as compared to those who seek to contest the polls as independent candidates.

Further, registered political parties, in course of time, can get recognition as a state party or a national party. Such recognition is accorded by the commission on the basis of votes the parties get.

The Election Commission data shows that in the current elections there are only six parties which are recognised at the national level, and 47 which are recognised at the state level.

Of all the parties in fray in these polls, 1,563 are unrecognised, a number which has seen a jump of 549 since the last general elections in 2009.

According to the Election Commission, registered unrecognised political parties are the ones which come under neither state-based, nor national categories. Therefore, they are not even eligible for a permanent party symbol during the elections.

Under the rules, these parties will be allotted symbols from a pool of 87 free symbols only when they fulfill the criteria of contesting 10 percent of the total seats in a state or the country.

If they win, the candidates of these parties will be allotted seats as representatives of their parties in parliament. But the parties will not be acknowledged as state-based or national.

They will then need to be engaged in political activities for a continuous period of five years, and bag at least six percent of the valid votes polled, with at least three members elected to a legislative assembly and one to the Lok Sabha to get recognition from the poll panel.

Once recognised, the parties are eligible for allotment of permanent election symbols.