The long road to reforming India’s political party system

Syllabus: GS-II, Subject: Polity, Topic: Elections and RPA, Issue: Political Party system

Why in news:

  • Recent defection issues in states like Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar have raised concerns about the sanctity of political parties.

Key issues:

  • Maharashtra’s incident was termed as intra-party dissent and exempted from the Anti-Defection Law.
  • As under Tenth Schedule split exemption has been removed in 2003.
  • Only mergers with two-thirds majority are exempt from disqualification under the law.
  • So to avoid merger Intra-party dissent was used as an excuse.


  • Defections highlight the lack of intra-party democracy.
  • A thorough study of party structures and statutory regulations are needed to ensure greater democracy within parties.
  • Implement recommendations from the Law Commission (255th report) with respect to political part system.
+1 Advantage for Mains ( Law Commission 255th report)

Recommendations from the Law Commission (255th report)

·         Amendments to the Representation of the People Act, 1951 to mandate

o    political parties to opt a constitution,

o    elect an executive committee,

o    select candidates,

o     conduct regular elections within the party at every level.

·         Granting the Election Commission of India the powers to impose monetary penalties or withdraw the registration of a political party in case it failed to comply


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