CONSTITUTION OF SWARAJ INDIA
[ As adopted in Founding Convention, 2nd October 2016, Delhi ]
ARTICLE I: NAME OF THE PARTY
The name of the Party will be SWARAJ INDIA (hereinafter referred to as “the Party”).
ARTICLE II: OBJECTIVES OF THE PARTY
[ A.] The Party aims to attain Swaraj for and within our country, our society, our globe and our selves.
[ B.] For us Swaraj is rule of the self and rule over one’s self, freedom from all forms of dominance and freedom for self-realization at every level of human life, so that we have:
- (a) Democratic governance that is transparent, accountable, participatory and de-centered;
- (b) Sustainable economic development that encourages human enterprise and ensures well- being for all;
- (c) Just society that achieves true harmony across divisions of gender, caste, class, race and religion, etc. based on equality;
- (d) Education, knowledge and culture that fosters human understanding, enriches diverse cultural heritage of humankind and promotes quest for truth;
- (e) Global peace involving harmonious existence among nations and states, humans, other living beings and nature; and
- (f) Human happiness that comes from individual liberty, freedom of thought and autonomy in ideas and deep self-awareness and self-transformation.
[C.] In order to realize this ideal, the Party seeks to intervene in democratic politics and governance by:
- (a) Taking part in elections by putting up candidates, declaring manifesto and forming government to give effect to the manifesto;
- (b) Using legitimate constitutional means to launch agitations, struggles and movements;
- (c) Carrying out constructive work;
- (d) Evolving new ideas, policies and models; and
- (e) Training citizens to imbibe values of Swaraj.
[D.] In order to ensure that there is no gap between the principles and practices of the Party, it would strive for:
- (a) Transparency and accountability in its functioning;
- (b) Participatory democracy wherein the voice of every member is respected;
- (c) Democratic decision making that respects the voice of dissent;
- (d) Collective leadership that avoids personality cult of any kind;
- (e) Decentralization of power, so that higher levels of organizations take only those decisions that cannot be taken at grassroots levels;
- (f) Social diversity, giving due representation to marginal and disadvantaged social groups;and
- (g) Truthfulness and upholding highest standards of integrity in public life
[E.] The Party will not in any manner promote or instigate or participate in violence.
[F.] The Party shall bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established and to the principles of socialism, secularism and democracy and would uphold the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India.
ARTICLE III: MEMBERSHIP OF THE PARTY
Membership of the Party, subject to other clauses of this Article, is open to any Indian without discrimination as to age, caste, ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender or sexual orientation, who agrees with its objectives and principles and who:
- (a) is a citizen of India and has attained the age of 18 years;
- (b) is not a member of any other political party registered with the Election Commission of India;
- (c) is not a member of or associated with any organization whose views, objectives, policies or actions are inconsistent with the underlying objective and founding principles of the Party;
- (d) has not been convicted by a competent court of any criminal offense punishable by more than 5 years in prison or of any financial misappropriation; and
- (e) whose membership is not considered detrimental to the best interests of the party.
[B.] MEMBERSHIP PROCESS
- (a) An eligible individual will, on submission of an application, membership dues, and declaration as may be prescribed from time to time for such membership, become a member of the Party unless rejected by the Unit/Executive functioning in the area in which he or she applies. Applications should be submitted to the local unit operating in the area where the applicant ordinarily resides, as prescribed.
- (b) The Unit/Executive receiving the application shall scrutinize the same, and publicize the applicant's name, inviting feedback from members of the public for a period of at least one week. The Unit/Executive may also adopt other means to verify the character and credentials of the applicant. Provided that the application shall be deemed to be accepted if not denied or rejected within a period of two calendar months from the date of application. Provided further that the National Executive may freeze the processing of new membership applications for a period of time, whether for the purpose of conducting elections or for any other reason, and such periods shall be not be counted towards the two month period mentioned in the previous proviso.
- (c) If a membership application is denied by the local Unit/Executive, it may be appealed to the next higher Executive of the Party. The next higher Executive may, if it deems fit, appoint one or more of its members to decide such cases.
- (d) A final appeal against the decision of the next higher Executive shall lie with concerned State Executive in cases where the denial and first appeal have both been adjudicated by a Unit/Executive subordinate to it.
The term of membership, subject to renewal, termination or resignation, will be 2 years. Provided that for the purpose of this clause, a year will be taken as the period commencing from 1st of April of a calendar year to the 31st of March of the succeeding year. Provided, further that for the first year of membership, a year will be taken as the period commencing from the date of membership up to the following 31st of March. Provided, further that the Party will send a reminder to all members whose membership is due for renewal. Members will have a grace period of three months to renew their membership in cases where such reminder was sent, failing which their membership will lapse. However, in case no reminder has been sent, the grace period will be 6 months.
[D.] CESSATION OF MEMBERSHIPM.
A person will cease to be a member of the Party in the following events:
- (a) Death
- (b) Resignation
- (c) Termination
- (d) Non-renewal of the Membership during grace period
- (e) Applying for or accepting the membership of any other political party
[E.] TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP
A person’s membership will stand terminated if
- (a) a reasoned or speaking order to the effect is passed by a competent Disciplinary Committee of the Party. Provided that no such finding may be recorded without providing a reasonable opportunity to respond including an opportunity of personal hearing to the person,
- (b) he/she is convicted by a competent court of a criminal offense punishable by more than 5 years in prison or of any financial misappropriation. Provided that on appeal if the Party Lokpal decides that the charge and conviction is not of a kind that should debar that person from public life, the termination shall be reversed.
[F.] SUSPENSION OF MEMBERSHIP
- (a) A person’s membership may be suspended by a competent Disciplinary Committee of the Party on the basis of prima facie findings in disciplinary proceedings as per the provisions of this Constitution.
- (b) A District or State Executive or the National Executive or the Party Presidium may suspend a person's membership, provided that a complaint specifying the grounds for such action is submitted to the competent Disciplinary Committee immediately thereafter. The Disciplinary Committee may on the basis of prima facie findings, either vacate the provisional suspension order or confirm it. Provided that the suspension order shall be deemed to be automatically vacated if the Disciplinary Committee fails to pass any order on the matter within 1 month of the passing of the original suspension order.
ARTICLE IV: ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE
[A.] ORGANS OF THE PARTY
- (a) The Party will be structured at the National, State, District and Block levels with organs at respective levels being,
- (i) Block Level: Block Unit
- (ii) District Level: District Executive
- (iii) State Level:State Council,State Executive
- (iv) National Level:National Council,National Executive,National Executive,Party Presidium
- (b) The National Executive of the Party in consultation with respective State Executives may sub-divide a state into two or more regions for functional or administrative convenience by constituting regional Councils and Executives for each such regions of the state. The provisions of this Constitution applicable to state level Councils and Executives will apply to such regional organs, mutatis mutandis.
- (c) The Party’s organs may be organized at Taluka, Tehsil, Mandal, Assembly Constituency, or other administrative level below District level suitable for that state instead of at the Block level as deemed fit by the concerned State Executive. Powers and functions of such units will be identical to those specified for Block units in this Constitution and all references to Block Units in this Constitution shall be deemed to include such Taluka, Tehsil, Mandal, Block or other sub-district level defined as equivalent to Block level by that State Executive.
- (d) State Executives may create separate units of the Party for Towns, Cities, Cantonment Areas, Metropolitan Areas, Panchayats, City Wards, Rural or Non-Metropolitan parts of Districts, and on any other basis as deemed fit by that State Executive. State Executives may similarly create units at intermediate levels as defined by that State Executive between State level and District level, between District level and Block level, and below Block level for functional or administrative convenience in that state. The composition, hierarchy, powers and functions of such urban and intermediate level bodies shall be as specified by the concerned State Executive. However, if any such units are proposed to be constituted in substitution of rather than in addition to District level units of the Party as specified in this Constitution, they will be constituted only on the basis of direct election by Party members in that region. Further, any such substitution shall require ratification by the National Executive.
- (e) State Executives will exercise their powers to restructure Party Organs below state level under the direction and superintendence of the National Executive.
- (f) Areas of District Units will ordinarily be the same as those of respective Administrative Revenue Districts in the State. Areas of State Units of the Party will conform to the States and Union Territories mentioned in the Constitution of India. If a state has been subdivided into Regions, boundaries of each Region will be as prescribed by the National Executive.
[ B.] BLOCK LEVEL: Block Unit
- (a) The Block Unit will be the General Body of all members of that Unit. It will:
- (i) deliberate and decide on any issue or action program to further the objectives of the Party,
- (ii) scrutinize applications for membership where it deems necessary,
- (iii) elect 1 President and 1 General Secretary (of which at least one must be a woman) in Blocks with not less than 50 members by consensus, failing which, it will be done through elections; the President and General Secretary will be available to work for the Party on a regular basis,
- (iv) form such teams as required and assign them such work as deemed fit, (v) reconstitute any team or committee,
- (vi) recall President or General Secretary,
- (vii) perform such tasks as assigned to it by the District unit from time to time for the purposes of the Party,
- (viii) If there are not less one hundred members in a block unit, an Executive will be elected for that Block whose structure, powers and functions will be, as far as may be on the lines of District Executives.
[C.] DISTRICT LEVEL
- (a) District Executive:
- (i) There will be elected a District Executive by all the members of that district, if the number of such members is not less than hundred.
- (ii) The District Executive will comprise of 10 members, which shall include at least 3 women and 1 student/youth (up to 35 years of age). Provided that if an insufficient number of nominations for election are filed by women or youth, the corresponding seat will be kept vacant. Such vacant seats will be filled through bye-elections to be held at such time and in such manner as prescribed. Provided, further that if an elected District Executive member's or elected State Council Delegate’s seat becomes vacant due to death, resignation, recall or any other reason, the same shall be filled through bye-elections within a period of 6 months in such manner as prescribed.
- (iii) The members referred to in sub-clause (ii) above will elect one person as the District President.
- (iv) If the President, General Secretary or Executive member of any Block Unit is elected to the District Executive, he/she will resign from the position of President, General Secretary or Block Executive member as the case may be, immediately.
- (v) The District Executive may co-opt persons who are eminent individuals, experts from such fields as the National Executive deems fit, or members of disadvantaged or under-represented social groups, such as Women, Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC/OBC), Persons with Disability (PwD), and religious or linguistic minorities, if there is inadequate representation of such groups. The total number of co-opted members shall not exceed 25% of the elected strength of the District Executive at the time of co-option.
- (vi) Subject to the limitation of sub-clause (iii) of this clause, co-opted members will have all the rights of elected members of the District Executive.
- (vii) The District Executive may invite anyone from within or outside the Party to attend its meetings as a ‘Special Invitee’ for one or more meetings. Such Special Invitees may participate in discussions but will not enjoy any voting rights.
- (viii) Subject to prior approval of the concerned State Executive, a District Executive may constitute a separate unit for any Village/s, Municipal Ward, or other delineated area below block level. Provisions for Block level units will apply to such units mutatis mutandis.
- (b) Powers and Functions of District Executive
The District Executive will
- (i) form as many teams as are required to carry out the objectives of the Party,
- (ii) elect a General Secretary and a Treasurer for the District,
- (iii) appoint one or more Party members from the District as Spokespersons authorized to communicate the official Party position on any subject to the public and media; Spokespersons who are not themselves members of the District Executive shall be invited to attend all District Executive meetings as ‘special invitees’,
- (iv) appoint one or more Party members from the District as electronic media panelists authorized to represent the Party in media debates and discussions,
- (v) appoint one or more Party members from the District to any District level designation or post and assign them suitable responsibilities as may be deemed suitable for the purposes of the Party,
- (vi) monitor and supervise the activities of functionaries of the Party in that District,
- (vii) undertake all such activities as are needed to meet the objectives of the Party in that District,
- (viii) undertake activities related to public issues affecting that District,
- (ix) maintain the Register of Members of the Party of that District in such manner as may be prescribed,
- (x) maintain accounts of District Level Finances,
- (xi) form a District Grievance Redress Committee for settling internal grievances and disputes of Party members in that District,
- (xii) form a District Disciplinary Committee headed by a person with legal/administrative background who is not a member of any Executive in the Party,
- (xiii) constitute and reconstitute any team or committee,
- (xiv) recall District President by an absolute majority of elected members, and District General Secretary and Treasurer by an absolute majority of all members
[D.] STATE LEVEL (This will apply to Union territories also):
[a] State Council:
[b.] Functions and Powers of the State Council:
[c.] State Executive:
Each State Executive will organize and coordinate the activities of the Party at the State Level.
[d] Powers and Functions of the National Executive:
The National Executive will:
[e] Party Presidium:
[ F.] NRI LEVEL
[G]TERM OF MEMBERSHIP OF COUNCILS AND EXECUTIVES
- A State Council will be convened in each state or Union Territory where elected District Executives are present in one-third or more Districts, consisting of –
- (i) Delegates not exceeding one hundredth the number of Party members in that state, or half the strength of the state assembly, whichever is lower, to be apportioned to Districts in proportion to their respective membership strength. Provided, that any fractional number so obtained must be rounded downwards.
- (ii) Additional District Delegates equal to half the strength of the state assembly to be apportioned equally to all the Districts provided, –
- (a) any fractional number must be rounded upwards for as many districts as required to take the numbers of delegates to half the assembly strength, in decreasing order of the number of assembly seats in that district, and rounded downwards for all the remaining districts; and
- (b) each district would be required to have at least 50 members for every delegate of its apportioned strength that it nominates under this sub-clause; the seats falling short will be kept vacant till this condition is met.
- (iii) The delegates mentioned in sub-clauses (i) and (ii) of this clause will be nominated by the concerned District Executive in all Districts with elected District Executives.
- (iv) Membership strength of each District and state as on the 1st of July of every year,
- certified as such by the National Executive will be used under this section to decide district wise delegate strength for the period lasting till 1st of July of the next year.
- (v) Additionally, the State Executive may nominate up to 2 District Delegates from each
- District without elected District Executives to the State Council.
- (vi) The State Council may co-opt a maximum of 25% of its non co-opted strength at the time of co-option from among the following:
- (a) experts from such fields as the National Executive deems fit,
- (b) eminent individuals from any field in the country,
- (c) members of disadvantaged or under-represented social groups, such as Women, SC, ST, SEBC/OBC, Persons with Disability (PwD) and religious or linguistic minorities, if there is inadequate representation of such groups.
- (i) The State Council will elect the State Executive from among Party members in that State.Provided that if a State Council has not been constituted for a State in which the number of Party members is not less than ten times the number of parliamentary constituencies in that state, and in any case not less than 100, a State Executive of 20 members may be elected directly by all Party members of that state, subject to the prior consent of the National Executive, in such manner and for such period till a State Council is convened, as prescribed.
- (ii) The State Council will have the power to recall the members of the State Executive.
- (iii) It will decide the stand and policy of the Party on issues concerning that state in such manner as may be prescribed
- (i) The State Executive will consist of not less than 15 and not more than 35 members elected by the State Council, of which at least one fourth shall be women, and one tenth shall be students/youth (18 to 35 years of age). Provided that if an insufficient number of nominations for election are filed by women or youth, the corresponding seat will be kept vacant. Provided further that the National Executive may in consultation with respective State Executives additionally fix the number or proportion of seats mentioned in this clause to be reserved in each State Executive for candidates belonging to members of disadvantaged or under-represented social groups, such as SC, ST, SEBC/OBC, Persons with Disability (PwD) and religious or linguistic minorities
- (ii) In addition to the above, District Presidents, or their respective nominees will be ex- officio members of State Executives with all the rights of elected members of the State Executive. Provided, that ex-officio members may not serve as state level office bearers.
- (iii) The members referred to in sub-clauses (i) and (ii) above will elect one person as the State President.
- (iv) If the President, General Secretary or Executive member of any lower level unit of the Party is elected to the State Executive, he/she will resign from the position of President, General Secretary or lower level Executive member as the case may be, immediately. Provided, that this provision is not applicable to District Presidents or their nominees, who are ex-officio members of the State Executive.
- (v) The State Executive may co-opt persons who are eminent individuals, experts from such fields as the National Executive deems fit, or members of disadvantaged or under-represented social groups, such as Women, SC, ST, SEBC/OBC, Persons with Disability (PwD) and religious or linguistic minorities, if there is inadequate representation of such groups. The total number of co-opted members shall not exceed 25% of the elected strength of the State Executive at the time of co-option.
- (vi) Subject to the limitation of sub-clause (iii) of this clause, co-opted members will have all the rights of elected members of the State Executive.
- (vii) The State Executive may invite anyone from within or outside the Party to attend its meetings as a ‘Special Invitee’ for one or more meetings. However, Special Invitees will not enjoy any voting rights.
- (i) form as many teams as are required to carry out the objectives of the Party,
- (ii) elect the National General Secretary and National Treasurer,
- (iii) appoint one or more Party members as Spokespersons authorized to communicate the official Party position on any subject to the public and media, spokespersons who are not themselves members of the National Executive shall be invited to attend all National Executive and National Council meetings as ‘special invitees’,
- (iv) appoint one or more Party members as electronic media panelists authorized to represent the Party in media debates and discussions,
- (v) appoint one or more Party members to any National level designation or post and assign them such responsibilities as may be deemed suitable for the purposes of the Party,
- (vi) monitor and supervise the activities of Party functionaries at various levels in the country,
- (vii) undertake all such activities as are needed to meet the objectives of the Party in the country,
- (viii) undertake various activities related to public issues,
- (ix) maintain and keep accounts of National Level Finances,
- (x) form the National Grievance Redress Committee for settling internal grievances and disputes of Party members,
- (xii) reconstitute any team or committee,
- (xiii) recall National President with an absolute majority of elected and ex-officio members and National General Secretary or Treasurer by an absolute majority of all members,
- (xiv) make rules and regulations under this Constitution,
- (xv) constitute and reconstitute an Party Presidium consisting of President, General Secretary, Treasurer and 7 to 17 other Party members. The Party Presidium shall serve at the pleasure of the National Executive for a period not exceeding one year at a time, subject to reappointment.
- (i) The Party Presidium will discharge all powers and functions of the National Executive, except those specifically retained by the National Executive with itself, in between two National Executive meetings.
- (ii) All decisions of the Party Presidium shall be reported to the National Executive at the next regular meeting and will be voided unless ratified by the National Executive at this meeting.
- (iii) The National President, General Secretary and Treasurer are expected to discharge all of their powers and duties in consultation with the Party Presidium in the spirit of collective leadership.
- (a) The National Executive shall formulate rules to create Party units for Non-Resident Indians, specifying their composition, powers and functions respectively.
- (b) The National Executive may if it finds fit specify representation levels for Non- Resident Indians within State and National organs of the Party, including the numbers of such representatives and their mode of election.
- (a) The Party will hold periodic election to all positions of office bearers and organs.The term of office of every Council and Executive member shall be two calendar years, subject to maintaining the currency of their Party membership.
- (b) No individual may continue as office bearer in the same office for more than two consecutive terms.