MUMBAI: The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Musalmeen (MIM) has been deregistered in Maharashtra and will not be eligible to contest in next year's civic polls in Mumbai.The state election commission (SEC) on Wednesday deregistered 191 unrecognized parties, including MIM which was hoping to make inroads in the BMC, Ulhasnagar and Thane civic corporations, all of which go to the polls in 2017.

The reason for deregistration is that the parties have not, despite reminders, submitted audited accounts and income tax returns to the state election commission, which is mandatory as per provisions of the Registration of Political Parties and Maharashtra Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) orders of 2004 and 2009. State election commissioner J S Saharia issued a statement with the list of the deregistered parties. After two of its candidates were elected in Maharashtra in the 2014 assembly polls, MIM was eyeing the BMC polls, hoping to win at least 25 seats. The party has 22 corporators in Aurangabad. But, the deregistering has come as a setback.

MIM president Asaduddin Owaisi admitted "there have been lapses on our part". Speaking to TOI over phone, Owaisi said, "We have requested the SEC to condone the lapses but it appears it is too late. We have written to the commission.We will appeal." He said the deregistration will not prohibit him from campaigning in the Mumbai civic polls or candidates from contesting independently .

Deepak Negi of the Association for Democratic Reforms said, "We welcome this bold move of deregistration. It will pave the way for bringing in some sort of transparency and accountability." There are 359 political parties registered with the SEC, of which 17 are recognised national political parties. The SEC had issued notices to 326 parties to submit their audit accounts and income-tax returns.However, 191 of them failed to submit the documents.Among the 191 parties are Shivrajya Paksha of Brigadier ex-MP Sudhir Sawant, Republican Party (Khoripa) and RPI (Khobragade).

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