The Election Commission on Friday announced reducing the notice period for registration of new political parties in the five poll-going states from 30 days to 7 days, keeping in view difficulties caused by COVID-19-induced curbs. In a statement, the EC explained that under the existing guidelines, a party seeking registration has to submit an application to it within 30 days following the date of its formation.
The applicant is asked to publish the party's proposed name in two national dailies and two local dailies on two days. Objections, if any, with regard to the proposed registration of the party have to be submitted within 30 days from the publication of the notice. Noting that it had announced the schedule for assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Punjab and Manipur on January 8, the EC said, "It has been brought to the notice of the Commission that in view of prevailing restrictions on account of COVID-19, there was dislocation and delay in moving applications for registration, which in turn led to delay in registration as a political party." After considering all aspects, the Commission has given a relaxation and has reduced the notice period from 30 days to seven days for the parties who have published their public notice on or before January 8.
"For all parties, including those parties which have already published the public notice in less than 7 days prior to January 8, objection, if any, can be submitted latest by 5.30 PM on January 21, or by the end of the originally provided 30 days period, whichever is earlier," the statement said. The statement noted that during the assembly elections in Bihar, Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, the Commission had relaxed the notice period in view of the ongoing pandemic.