Use of race in political party’s name not objectionable: Election Commission of India

CHENNAI(PTI): The Election Commission (EC) has told the Madras High Court that names of castes are not allowed to be added to the names of political parties, but there was no such bar on the name of a race.

The submission was made before a bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice R Mahadevan on Friday during the hearing of a PIL which sought a direction to change the names of political parties which had names of a caste or a race added to them.

Petitioner Kannan Govindarajan had sought a direction from the EC to parties such as the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) to change their names as they contained the name of a race (Dravida).

The EC produced a September 15, 2015 communication to the effect that the name of a caste is not allowed to be used with the name of a political party. It clarified that using the name of a race with that of a political party would, in itself, not amount to violation of the relevant provisions of the Representation of People Act and thus, it would not be “objectionable”. The bench, after recording the submission of the EC, closed the PIL.