In a first-of-its-kind action, the Election Commission on Tuesday suspended recognition of National People’s Party of P A Sangma. National People’s Party is a recognised state party in Meghalaya. The Party’s recognition was canceled on the ground that it failed to file the election expenditure statement for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections despite reminders.
Political parties are supposed to submit their election expenditure statement within 75 days of the completion of an Assembly general election and within 90 days of the completion of the Lok Sabha General Election.
While the Election Commission of India (ECI) is widely known conducting free & fair elections, it has always been in the dock for not taking action against candidates and parties who flout various laws. It is in this context, that the ECI’s action to suspend the recognition of the National People’s Party of P A Sangma assumes significance. It is for the first time that the recognition of a party has been suspended by the Commission.
Suspension is not permanent withdrawal of recognition. It is only a temporary measure. The recognition of NPP can still be reinstated provide the ECI is satisfied with the explanation of NPP. This action of the ECI is not only rare, but, the first of its kind in its history. Let’s hope the ECI uses the powers at its disposal more regularly.