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The Election Commission has informed the Supreme Court that religious organisations are not prohibited from registering as political parties under the law

According to the Election Commission, there is no express prohibition against religious organisations registering as political parties under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act-1951.

The Commission stated this in an affidavit in response to a PIL filed by Syed Waseem Rizvi, the former chairman of the Shia Waqf Board of Uttar Pradesh, seeking the cancellation of political parties bearing religious symbols and names.

It was stated in the affidavit that a Bill had been introduced in the Lok Sabha that would amend the Act in order to prevent religious associations from being registered as political parties. The bill was not passed and therefore lapsed with the dissolution of the Lok Sabha in 1996.

An affidavit stated that political parties are required to comply with Section 29A of the Act, which mandates secularism. Moreover, it states that political parties applying for registration must have the true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India, socialism, secularism and democracy, as well as upholding the sovereignty, unity, and integrity of the country. It is also stated that if the party’s memorandum, rules, and registration do not conform to these requirements, it will not be registered by the Commission.

According to the EC, under Section 29A, they had taken a policy decision in 2005 not to register political parties with religious connotations. This party has not been registered since then, and “certain” political parties mentioned in the writ petition have been registered in the past.

In its affidavit, the EC said it had issued an order on May 19, 2014, directing political parties seeking registration not to be religious in nature.

In its decision, the EC stated that “the existing political party names with religious connotations have become legacy names, since they have existed for decades” and left it to the court to determine whether the names should be changed. Based on the petitioner’s submission, the petitioner’s request to cancel party symbols with religious connotations is legally unenforceable since symbols reserved for national or state parties are determined solely by their electoral performance.


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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