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Registered Unrecognized Political Parties (RUPPs)


What are Registered Unrecognized Political Parties (RUPPs)?

  • Registered Political Parties: A party is registered by the Election Commission (EC) under Section 291 of the RPA 1951, if it submits its application within 30 days of its formation.
  • Recognition of Political Parties: The Election Commission of India gives recognition as National parties or State parties based on the percentage of votes/seats secured in an election.
  • Registered and Unrecognized Political Parties: These are those parties which have not secured enough votes/seats in the election to be declared even a state party or those which have never contested any election
Registered Unrecognized Political Parties (RUPPs)
Registered Unrecognized Political Parties (RUPPs)

Data on Registered Unrecognized Political Parties

    • There are 2,796 RUPPs according to EC’s data till 2021, an increase of more than 300% since 2001.
    • Only around 5% of these parties have submitted contribution and financial reports.
    • 81% of donations received by such parties are from individual donors.

Provisions of Registered Unrecognized Political Parties

    • Article 324 of Indian constitution: It vests the powers of recognition with the EC.
    • Section 29A of RPA 1951: It deals with registration of associations and bodies as political parties.
    • Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968: It has provisions regarding the registration and recognition of political parties as state and national parties.


Issues with the Registered Unrecognized Political Parties

  • Opacity in funding: According to Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), the financial contribution reports of only 5% of Registered Unrecognized Political Parties are available in the public domain for 2019-20.
  • Electoral bonds: As many as 70 Registered Unrecognized Political Parties never having contested have received funds through this channel since its launch in 2018.
  • Non-compliance to RTI: Political parties are out of the ambit of anti-corruption actions and the Right to Information Act.
  • Money Laundering: The Income Tax Act, 1961, exempts from tax any come donated to political parties.
    • E.g. Recent Income Tax raids found hundreds of crores being laundered by unrecognized political parties run from shops and slums.
  • Mushrooming of political parties: Due to lack of any delisting provision, parties are forming at alarming rates but for malafide reasons like money laundering.


Benefits of Recognized vs. Unrecognized Political Parties


Recognized Political Parties

Unrecognized Political Parties



Recognized Political Parties can avail time slots for broadcasting and televising on Doordarshan and Akashvani. No such facility.
Star Campaigners Can nominate a maximum of 40-star campaigners. Can nominate a maximum of 20 star campaigners.
Land for office They also get subsidized land for their party offices at the national or state capitals. No such provision.
Access to Rolls They get two sets of electoral rolls free of cost at the time of revision of rolls. No such provision
Symbols Reserved symbols Symbols are not reserved for them.


Registered Unrecognized Political Parties: More on the news

  • The decision against 253 non-compliant Registered Unrecognized Political Parties has been taken based on reports received from Chief Electoral Officers of seven states namely Bihar, Delhi, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana & Uttar Pradesh.


Way Forward

Recommendations of the Associations
Recommendations of the Associations


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