Election Commission rejigs status, AAP is now a national party, know its significance

Election Commission rejigs status, AAP is now a national party, know its significance

The Aam Aadmi Party is now the new national party. Granting this status, the Election Commission has also withdrawn the national tag of Trinamool Congress (TMC), Communist Party of India (CPI), and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). With this rejig, the list of national parties in India now includes- Bharatiya Janata Party, Indian National Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Bharatiya Janata Party, Communist Party of India (Marxist) and National People’s Party (NPP). After Gujarat assembly elections, AAP was set for upgradation, which has happened now.

Review by the ECI

Without doubt, the recognition of a political party as a national party is an important development or milestone in its political journey as this tag offers it certain privileges and perks. This tag means that a party has acquired national footprint in the country. The Election Commission of India (ECI) reviews the status of political parties after every Lok Sabha polls and state legislative assembly elections, as it classifies political parties into two categories- recognized national parties and recognized state parties.

TMC, CPI & NCP out of list

The ECI in a statement, has said that it has reviewed the status of recognized national and state political parties as per provisions under Para 6A, 6B and 6C of the Symbols Order 1968 and now TMC, CPI and NCP are out of the list of national parties.

Norms for elevation

The ECI has laid down some technical criteria for parties to be recognised as a national or a state party. Under present norms, a registered party is recognised as a national party only if it fulfils any one of the three conditions- first, the party should win 2% of seats in the Lok Sabha from at least three different states. Second- at a general election to Lok Sabha or legislative assembly, a party should poll at least 6% of votes in any four or more states and in addition it should also win four Lok Sabha seats. And the third is- the party should be recognised as a state party in four states.

A part of the process

Clearly, a party may gain or lose national party status from time to time, depending on the fulfillment of conditions. Taking into account these conditions, the Election Commission has granted the status of a national party to the Aam Aadmi Party on April 10.

Significance of being national party

Here, it is equally pertinent to know as to what significance this recognition holds for a political party. According to the laid down rules of the ECI, a recognised party whether it is national or state, has the right to certain privileges, which include allocation of the party symbols, provision of time for political broadcasts on the state-owned television and radio stations and access to electoral rolls. In addition, a national party is given space for a party office in New Delhi. Moreover, a national party is also allotted a symbol exclusively reserved for its use throughout the country. This symbol is reserved for it even in the states where it is not contesting elections. However, in case of a state party, the allotted symbol is exclusively reserved for the state or states only in which it is recognised.

Notice to parties

It is also noteworthy here that after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Election Commission had issued notices to several political parties, asking them to explain why their national status should continue, however, the poll panel had put its plan to scrap the status of national party on hold.

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