22/03/2015 7:45 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Parties Not Contesting Election Will Be Removed, Says Election Commission

ROUF BHAT via Getty Images
Election commission workers are pictured at a polling station in Srinagar on December 14, 2014. India-administered Kashmir headed to the fourth and final phase of state assembly polls under tight security with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist party eyeing power for the first time in the tense and disputed Muslim-majority state. AFP PHOTO/Rouf BHAT (Photo credit should read ROUF BHAT/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW DELHI — The Election Commission is planning to revoke registration of political parties which have never contested any election in the last 5-10 years.

Chief Election Commissioner H S Brahma said on Saturday there are more than 1,600 registered parties in the country of which only less than 200 participate in the electoral process. "We are very seriously thinking that if a party has not participated in any election within a period of five years or seven years or 10 years then they should be suo moto deleted from the registration," Brahma said at a conference of National Election Watch here.

He said they are thinking of taking some serious action against those who have not contested a minimum of 2-3 state assembly elections and one parliamentary election. "We are not able to enforce it. But if there is a pressure from the people on them (elected representatives), I think this kind of bogus registration of political parties for doing other than the real political activity can be curbed. But state funding or no funding is not the issue here," Brahma said.

He said that upon registration, political parties get a number of benefits from the state including financial exemption in income tax. Political parties can always say that they contested but not won he said adding that "there are instances where they never participate even in municipal or panchayat election which is very unfortunate".