Mumbai, July 13 (IANS) The Maharashtra State Election Commission (SEC) on Wednesday cancelled the registration of 191 political parties, including the Hyderabad-based All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), a top official said here.
State Election Commissioner J.S. Saharia said that the registrations have been cancelled as these parties failed to provide their income details and annual Income Tax Returns and audit reports as required under the law.
The move would ensure a level playing field for all parties, free and fair elections and prevent misuse of money-power during the polls, Saharia pointed out.
At present, Maharashtra has 17 recognised parties and a whopping 342 others which are unrecognised.
Among the unrecognised parties, the SEC had sent notices to 326 parties to comply with the statutory requirements, but many failed to respond, including the high-profile AIMIM with two elected legislators and several at lower levels like municipal corporators, councillors and other bodies.
Finally, it was decided to strike down the registrations of 191 such parties, Saharia added.
Besides the AIMIM and Loksatta Party from Hyderabad, four parties of other Indian states have also lost their registrations. They are: Socialist Party (India) and Peace Party (Uttar Pradesh), RPI (Khobragade) and Gondwana Republic Party (Chhattisgarh).
The state poll panel took the action against AIMIM as the party failed to file audited accounts.
The party plans to appeal against the ban. Imtiaz Jaleel, one of the two legislators of the AIMIM in Maharashtra, said the party will contest the elections.
“Will appeal with Maharashtra EC against ban on AIMIM for not filing returns. Party will contest local body elections due in a few months,” he tweeted.
Sources in the party said it was studying the ban orders. They said the legal team of the party would study the orders and take suitable action.
The Hyderabad-headquartered party won two assembly seats in Maharashtra in the elections held in 2014.