Jagan’s party is on the EC’s radar, and its constitution is under scrutiny.

Last Friday, the Election Commission of India (ECI) deemed the Shiv Sena’s 2018 constitution, which had not been submitted to the polling body, to be undemocratic because it gave the party’s leader too much power. However, this was not the reason why the ECI ruled that the Eknath Shinde faction of the party was the true Shiv Sena (support of legislators and parliamentarians tiled the balance).

Deccan Era has learned that the poll panel’s earlier objection to making Andhra chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy the Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress (YSRC) party’s lifetime president, a resolution passed at the party’s plenary session in July 2022, prompted the party to issue a clarification in November stating that this was not the case.

After the clarification, which has not been previously publicised, Deccan Era has learned that ECI is reviewing the party’s constitution in order to include it in their archives.

“Although all parties may propose modifications, the European Commission cannot recognise undemocratic moves. Two problems were brought to our attention: the name change (the party elected to continue with the shorter version of its name, YSR Congress Party) and the lifelong presidency (to Jagan Reddy). If the YSR party had pursued the lifelong presidency, we would have had to delist them for violating democratic principles as specified by the Representation of the People Act, a senior official of the election commission said on condition of anonymity.

In a letter to ECI dated November 4, the party stated, “YSR Jagan Reddy was elected for only five years.” Unnecessarily, the media emphasised that he was elected for life. We have complete faith in democracy and constantly adhere to its values.” This was in response to a September directive by the polling panel to officially explain reports that Reddy would become president for life.

In its order, ECI stated, “Any action that denies the periodicity of elections is in complete breach of the Commission’s existing orders.” “If not unequivocally refuted, it has the potential to cause doubt among other political forms over the Election Commission of India’s approval of such a move (which is extensively reported in the media), which can then take contagious proportions.”

When approached, a YSR party official stated, “Some party members were unaware that this is prohibited. Hence, they proposed this resolution. But when they realised it was forbidden, they returned it.”

The decision and clarification delayed the election commission’s examination of the party’s constitution.

A second ECI official stated that, in general, larger parties tend to adhere to the regulations, whereas smaller, regional parties tend to ignore them. This individual stated that the latest order in the Shinde case may require all parties to ensure that their current constitution and organisation are reflected in ECI’s records.

In Friday’s order against the Shiv Sena, the Election Commission of India (ECI) stated: “… In a political party, qua an organisation, in itself should be a compelling basis for all national and state recognised parties to regularly disclose to public at large the key aspects of its inner party functioning, such as organisational details, holding of elections, being compliant with the conditions of registration, to follow the extant guidelines prescribed by the ECI for political parties, and to ensure that their websites are accessible to the general public

The second official stated that ECI is supervising a “clean-up of all parties” that began with a crackdown on RUPPs (registered unrecognised political parties) and will hopefully result in all parties transitioning to democratic organisations.

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Hi, my name is Nisha and I'm an educational journalist based in India. I've always been passionate about the power of education to transform lives, and that's what led me to pursue a career in journalism focused on this area. I completed my Bachelor's degree in English from Hindu College in Delhi in 2013 and then went on to earn my Master's in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in 2017. During my studies, I also completed several short-term courses on Education in India, Sociology, and other related subjects to deepen my knowledge in this field. I'm particularly interested in improving access to quality education in rural areas, where students often face significant challenges. I've worked on a number of initiatives to address this issue, including advocating for better policies, resources, and practices that can make a difference. As an educational journalist, I'm passionate about using my platform to highlight important issues in the education space. I've covered a wide range of topics, including the impact of technology in the classroom, innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and the challenges facing students from marginalized communities. One of the things I love most about my work is the opportunity to constantly learn and grow. I'm an avid reader and believe that reading is key to expanding one's knowledge and perspective. I'm always seeking out new ideas and insights to help me better understand the world around me. In summary, as an educational journalist, I'm dedicated to using my skills and expertise to make a positive impact in the field of education. I'm committed to improving access to quality education for all students and to using my platform to raise awareness about important issues in this area.

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