The Election Commission (EC) has delisted 255 political parties that existed only on paper and has asked the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to initiate appropriate action, if necessary.
None of these parties have ever contested a local body, assembly or Lok Sabha election since 2005, the EC found out while reviewing the records of unrecognised parties registered with it.
Although the EC does not have a direct power to cancel the registration of a political party, it exercised its powers under Section 29A of the Representation of People Act 1951, whereby it can take back the symbol of a party.
Interestingly, the addresses given by some of these parties include Union Home Minister's present residence, and lawyer's chambers at Patiala House courts.
A party called All India Progressive Janata has given 17, Akbar Road as its address. This is currently the official residence of Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Another party by the name Pavitra Hindustan Kaazhagam gave its address as 11, Harish Chandra Mathur Lane, which is the office of Jammu and Kashmir CID.
Similarly, the Akhil Bharatiya Dastkar Morcha and Rashtiya Yuva Loktantrik Party provided chamber number 187 and chamber 461 respectively at Patiala House courts as their addresses.
"The Election Commission of India has so far deleted the names of 255 political parties from the list of registered un-recognised political parties maintained by the Commission under the Section 29A and and para 17 of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968.
"This is for your information and necessary action if any, in view of the provisions of Section 29B and 29C of R.P Act, 1951," the EC wrote in a letter to CBDT.
The EC said that it has decided to review the cases of the unregistered unrecognised political parties "which do not set up any candidate at any of the general elections to the house of the people and/or state legislative assemblies held during the period from the year 2005 to 2015 as per the Commission's record" in order to consider whether they continue to exist and function from the registered office addresses available in the records of the Commission.