By Kumar Vikram
New Delhi, Sep 7 (SocialNews.XYZ) While the income tax department on Wednesday conducted raids in many states as part of a tax evasion probe against registered unrecognised political parties (RUPP) and their alleged dubious funding, information from the poll panel disclosed that registration of such political parties has recorded a substantial rise in the last few years.
Election Commission data revealed that nearly 500 new political parties registered with the poll panel between April 2019 and August 2021.
As per the EC data, the number of unrecognised political parties has increased from 2,301 to 2,796 during the above period, recording a jump of over 20 per cent.
As per the Election Commission, there were 694 such parties in 2001. In two decades, the growth in registration of such parties has been 300%. Evidence suggests that there is a spurt in registration before the elections to the Lok Sabha and the Vidhan Sabhas.
The Election Commission has taken action, deleting such unrecognized political parties. During May and June, 2022, the Commission deleted 87 and 111 such political parties.
The Commission has noted with serious concern that out of the total 2796 RUPPs, a large number is neither taking part in the electoral process nor adhering to the one or many of the above requirements including submission of Contribution Reports; Annual Audit Statement: Election Expenditure Statement; and Contesting Elections, etc which is not only violative of statutory requirements and extant guidelines but also defeats the purpose of a clean electoral ecosystem.
A close look at the 2019 Lok Sabha election data showed negligible participation of these unrecognised parties in the polls. As per the EC only 0.06% of votes were secured by such parties in 2019.
Sources said while the registration process of political parties is easy, their role in unlawful or corrupt activities can't be denied. In some cases, these smaller parties also eat into the vote share of the bigger ones. These parties might also be used for money laundering as they are exempted from income tax, said an official.
Explaining about the suspected activities of some of these parties, Advocate Umesh Sharma said many of such parties have ulterior motives. "Some indulge in corrupt activities as they are free to collect donations and enjoy tax exemption even if they don't contest polls."
Sharma added that sometimes bigger political parties use the infrastructure of these parties during campaigning. "There is a limit on the use of vehicles and other logistics. In such cases, logistics issued in the name of unrecognised parties are used by the big ones."
Gopi Adusumilli is a Programmer. He is the editor of SocialNews.XYZ and President of AGK Fire Inc.
He enjoys designing websites, developing mobile applications and publishing news articles on current events from various authenticated news sources.
When it comes to writing he likes to write about current world politics and Indian Movies. His future plans include developing SocialNews.XYZ into a News website that has no bias or judgment towards any.
He can be reached at email@example.com