- The Election Commission Monday recognised the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as a national party, while revoking that status of the All India Trinamool Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Communist Party of India (CPI).
- The Commission also revoked the state party status granted to RLD in Uttar Pradesh, BRS in Andhra Pradesh, PDA in Manipur, PMK in Puducherry, RSP in West Bengal and MPC in Mizoram.
What is a national party?
- The name suggests that a national party would be one that has a presence ‘nationally’, as opposed to a regional party whose presence is restricted to only a particular state or region.
- National parties are usually India’s bigger parties, such as the Congress and BJP. However, some smaller parties are also recognized as national parties. A certain stature is sometimes associated with being a national party, but this does not necessarily translate into having a lot of national political clout.
- Some parties, despite being dominant in a major state — such as the DMK in Tamil Nadu, BJD in Odisha, YSRCP in Andhra Pradesh, RJD in Bihar, or TRS in Telangana — and having a major say in national affairs, remain regional parties.
So how is a national party defined?
- The ECI has laid down the technical criterion for a party to be recognized as a national party. A party may gain or lose national party status from time to time, depending on the fulfillment of these laid-down conditions.
- As per the ECI’s Political Parties and Election Symbols, 2019 handbook, a political party would be considered a national party if:
- It is ‘recognized’ in four or more states; or
- If its candidates polled at least 6% of total valid votes in any four or more states in the last Lok Sabhaor Assembly elections and has at least four MPs in the last Lok Sabha polls; or
- If it has won at least 2% of the total seats in the Lok Sabha from not less than three states.
- The BJP, Congress, CPI(M), Bahujan Samaj Party(BSP), National People’s Party (NPP) and the AAP are the remaining national parties now.
How is a state party defined?
- Apart from this, a political party would be considered a state party if:
- If it secures 6% of the valid votes polledin the state at a general election to the legislative assembly of the state concerned and in addition, it wins 2 seats in the assembly of the state concerned or
- If it wins 3% of seats in the legislative assembly at a general election to the legislative assembly of the state concerned or 3 seats in the assembly, whichever is more or
- If it wins 1 seat in the Lok Sabha for every 25 seats or any fraction thereof allotted to the state at a general election to the Lok Sabha from the state concerned or
- If it secures 8% of the total valid votes polled in the state at a General Election to the Lok Sabha from the state or to the legislative assembly of the state. This condition was added in 2011.
Source: Indian Express