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Need of internal polls in political parties

  • IAS NEXT, Lucknow
  • 30, Oct 2021
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The Delhi High Court has asked the Election Commission to respond to a petition seeking to formulate and notify a model procedure for internal elections of all political parties.

  • The High Court order came on a petition urging the Election Commission to make internal polls mandatory for all parties who wish to register themselves under Section 29-A of the Representation of the People Act.

Need for internal polls in parties:

The EC had in 1996 issued a letter to all recognised national and state political parties as well as registered unrecognised parties stating that various provisions relating to the organisational elections were not being followed by them and called upon them to follow their respective constitutions relating to said elections scrupulously.

Despite this there was a lack of regulatory oversight by the EC of the internal elections in political parties.

Present challenges and Concerns:

  • Internal elections of most parties “are often an eyewash for established political families within the said parties to continue to retain power as the top leadership of said party”.
  • Lack of transparency and internal democracy in political parties are often reflected in similar non-democratic governance models when said political parties come to power.


A total of 2,598 political parties are registered in the country with their own distinct symbol provided by the commission.

Implications of the move:

The timing of the petition is significant, given the internal turmoil in Congress over affairs in Rajasthan and Punjab, and internal elections deferred due to the Covid-19 pandemic.