Politics of Merger of Political Parties in India

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India, a constitutional democracy having a parliamentary form of government and it holds a commitment at the heart of the system to conduct regular, free and fair elections. Due to these elections one may find the composition of the government, the membership of the two houses of parliament, the presidency and vice- presidency, the state and union territory legislative assemblies. According to the constitutional provisions and many supplemented laws made by the parliament, elections are conducted. The major laws are Representation of People Act, 1950. This act mainly deals with electoral rolls preparation and revision. Representation of People Act, 1951 deals with conduct of elections and election disputes. When the enacted laws are silent or insufficient provision to deal with a given situation in election matters then the residuary power under the constitution to act in an appropriate manner falls upon The Election Commission, held by Supreme Court.

In this modern mass democracy, India, the conduct of elections is largely dependent on the behaviour of the established political parties. Even though Indian election contains many independent candidates, the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha members are usually the winning candidates of political parties. It is noted that people tend to vote for a party rather than a particular candidate. These parties provide organizational support to the candidates and also offer a broader election campaign and thus put forward alternative proposals for government, which help voters to make choice about how the government will run.


Political party refers to any association of persons or organization. The political party must first be registered in accordance with the provisions of Political Parties Act, 2011. This Act does not define a merger but states that A political party may merge with another political party. In general, a merger refers to, where two or more political parties strengthen their operations and mingles all officers, structures, and other functions of the political parties. When a new political party is formed after merging a political party then that political party shall stand dissolved upon registration of the new political party.

Mergers may occur by

  • Integration: In this category one party dissolves completely and joins another party that has not been dissolved.
  • Combination: A political party that has been dissolved is merging and form a new political party when they join.


Political parties may merge for various reasons, which as follows:

  • Vote maximization: This is one of the reasonable reasons that are mostly used. Office maximization: By merging one can achieve more cabinet posts.
  • Similarity in policy or ideology: If some parties have similar ideologies, then merging with other similar party will work best by combining forces to push for agenda collectively.
  • Rebranding a political party's image: Sometimes political parties may seek a merger in order to rebrand its tarnished image.
  • Representation and participation of members: Sometimes parties merge to gain a proper grip in representing its people and also to provide wider platform for its members to participate.

Any Political parties which are intending to merger, firstly have to submit the application along with agreement for merger. Secondly when two or more political parties merge into a new party, then the new party is not required to be provisionally registered. But after receiving the letter of confirmation of merging then the new party should comply with all the requirements for full registration, later the Registrar will issue certificate of full registration. After issuing certificate the Registrar will amend the register and replace the names of the merging parties with the name of the political parties.

Consequences of merging two or more registered parties into one new party:

  • The former parties no longer appears as party in the register of political parties and ceases to exist from the date of the merger. The new party will then become the successor of all/both merging parties.
  • The new party becomes a registered party
  • The assets of all merging party belong to the new party.
  • The responsibilities of each merging parties is upon the new party formed.
  • The new party is responsible to provide report on financial transactions and election expenses of each merging party for any period before merger took effect.
  • For any legal proceedings, whether civil, penal or administrative, by or against a merging party, the new party formed is replaced.
  • The enforcement of any decision of a judicial or quasi- judicial involving a merging party is thus enforced by or against the new party.
  • All the registered associations will become deregistered after merger.

A new party is permitted to the combined total of the allowances to which the merging parties would be entitled if they had not merged. When political parties merge into a new party, their names, symbols, logos and colours shall not be registered by any political party for a period of 5 years and their particulars will be removed from the register of political parties.

Paragraph 4 (2) of the tenth schedule makes it clear that no merger of a political party in another can be deemed to have taken place, unless at least two thirds of the members of the legislature party concerned have already agreed. Thus, the merger of a political party outside the house becomes dependent on the agreement of two/third majority in its legislative wing, for the purposes of the Tenth schedule.

The Socialists through their socialist policy had put up a spirited advocacy and influenced the congress position to some extent. During 30s these socialists groups formed almost in all parts of the country and continued till 1948, aiming to bring change in the policies of the party to liberate people from foreign rule as well as native exploitation. Thereafter, the socialist party underwent several splits and reunions. In 1951 Kripalani formed the KMPP, but came into existence after 1952 elections, in which the Socialists received about 16% votes, Later the KMPP and the SP merged to form the PSP, so that an anti-Congress non-communist leftist opposition could be forged. In 1955 Lohia left the PSP and revived the old Socialist party. Again in 1964 SSP was formed after merging the Socialists party with the PSP.


SHIV SENA: On 30 January 1992, Ashokrao Deshmukh and Vilasrao Gundewar, belonging to Shiv Sena Party wrote a letter addressing to Speaker and mentioned that they wanted to depart from Shiv Sena (B) in Lok Sabha and allocate separate seats to them. The strength of the party is 4 members at the time of constitution of the Tenth Lok Sabha. Then the Speaker sent the copy of the letter to the leader of Shiv Sena in Lok Sabha, Moreshwar Save for his comments. Personal hearing was given to both the said members and Save by the speaker on 25 February, 1992. After considering written and oral submissions made by both, a separate seats was allocated to them on 28 February, 1992 in Lok Sabha. Subsequently on receipt of request on 4 march, 1992 Shiv Sena (B) recognized by the speaker as a separate party and members were informed in writing about it on 5 march, 1992. By a Letter on 6 march, 1992 they announced the merger of their group with the Congress. HMPA also vide his letter dated 6 march, 1992 told the speaker about two Shiv Sena (B) members joining the congress and requested him that these two members be allotted seats in LS along with members of the Congress. The Speaker on 11 march, 1992 recognized the merger and allotted seats to these two leaders along with other Congress members.

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Politics of Merger of Political Parties in India. (2019, Nov 27). Retrieved June 23, 2024 , from

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