New Delhi: There has been a rush for registration of political parties, with as many as 239 new outfits enrolling themselves with the Election Commission between March, 2014 and July this year, taking their number to 1866.
According to the Commission, as on July 24, there are 1866 political parties which are registered with it. Out of these, 56 are recognised as registered national or state parties, while the rest are "unrecognised, registered" parties.
According to data complied by the Commission, in the last Lok Sabha election in 2014, 464 political parties had fielded candidates.
The data complied by the poll panel was shared with the Law Ministry for use in Parliament. Legislative Department of the ministry is the administrative unit for the poll watchdog.
According to the Election Commission, there were a total of 1,593 such parties in the country till March 10, 2014. 24 more such parties were registered between March 11 and March 21. And by March 26, 10 more outfits had registered as political parties. This was days after the Lok Sabha polls were announced on March 5.
The total number of political parties registered with the EC in March last year stood at 1,627.
Between March, 2014 and July this year, 239 parties registered themselves with the Commission.
These registered but unrecognized political parties do not have the privilege of contesting elections on a symbol of their own.
They have to choose from a list of 'free symbols' issued by the poll panel. According to a latest EC circular, 84 such free symbols are available.
Air conditioner, almirah, balloon, chappals, coconut, window, carpet, bottle and bread were some of the 'free' symbols available for registered, unrecognised political parties.
The Election Commission had come out with a list of 84 'free' symbols in January this year available with it to be used by registered political parties which are unrecognised.
To become a recognised political party either at the state or national level, a party has to fulfil certain criteria.