Sachin Pilot
Sachin Pilot
ANI Photo

The Rajasthan government is on the verge of collapsing. The tussle between Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Deputy CM Sachin Pilot divided the Congress in state. And, now certain media reports are claiming that Pilot is all set to form his own party called 'Pragatisheel Congress'.

This new development has got curious minds wondering ‘how set up a new political party in India’. India has a multi-party system. All registered parties are upgraded as recognised national or state level parties based upon objective criteria. A recognised party also enjoys privileges like a reserved party symbol, free broadcast time on state run television and radio, a consultation in setting of election dates and giving input in setting electoral rules and regulations.

The EC maintains a pool of thousands of symbols. The images represent aspects of everyday life in India -- from a stack of tires and a gramophone, to an auto rickshaw, etc. The applicant party will have to choose three symbols, in order of preference, after which they are allocated one by the ECI. Once a symbol is "reserved," it cannot be used by any other party.

Setting up a new party

A party seeking registration has to submit an application to the Commission within a period of 30 days following the date of its formation in prescribed format with certain basic particulars about the party such as name, address, membership details of various units, names of office bearers, etc.

According to Election Commission, to start a new political party in India, one has to submit an application for the registration addressed towards The Secretary, Election Commission of India.

Documents required (as mentioned on EC website)

1) A Demand Draft of Rs 10,000 on account of processing fee drawn in favour of the Under Secretary, Election Commission of India, New Delhi. It may be noted that the processing fee is non-refundable.

2) A neatly typed/printed copy of the memorandum/rules and bye-laws/Constitution of the Party should be furnished. It should also have parties name. The above mandatory provision must be included in the text of party constitution itself as one of the clauses.

3) There should be a specific provision in the rules/Constitution of the party regarding internal democracy in the party, organisational elections at different levels, mode of such elections and the periodicity of such elections, term of office of the office-bearers and powers and duties of the office-bearers of the party, and the various representative bodies of the party (such as Executive Committee, Council etc.)

4) The applicant party will also will have to furnish latest electoral rolls in respect of atleast 100 members of the organisation (including all office-bearers/members of main decision making organs like Executive Committee/Executive Council) duly certified by the Electoral Registration Officer of concerned assembly constituency to show that they are registered electors.

5) An affidavit duly signed by the President/General Secretary of the applicant party and sworn before a 1st class Magistrate/Oath Commissioner/Notary Public to the effect that no member of the organisation is a member of any other political party registered with the Commission.

6) A list of office bearers and members of the party should be submitted and the certified copy of electoral rolls or EPICs and individual affidavits should be enclosed as per the sequence of the list.

7) Particulars of Bank account and Permanent Account Number (PAN), if any, in the name of the party should be furnished.

8) The applicant party has to produce a ‘No Objection Certificate’, in the form of an affidavit on stamp paper, from the owner of the premises where the party office is situated with certified copies of tangible proof, such as House Tax Receipt or Registry papers, etc., of ownership of the premises.

9) The office bearers of the applicant party have to furnish a copy of their Income Tax Returns filed for the last three years, if they are Income Tax payees. In case any office bearer is not Income Tax payee he/she has to furnish certified details of his/her monthly income along with source of income.

10) The details of PAN Card have to be furnished in respect of office bearers of the party.

11) The applicant party must ensure in its constitution itself vide a specific clause in the party constitution that party will hold periodic (Period to be specified in constitution but at least once in 4 years) and regular election to all positions of office-bearers and organs of the party.

12) The party must declare in its constitution that it must contest an election conducted by the Election Commission within 5 years of its registration. (If the Party does not contest elections continuously for 6 years, the Party shall be taken off the list of registered parties).

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