VERDICTUM NEWS DESK
There are seven recognized National Parties in India presently. This list is likely to shorten after the present election. The parties that have the National Party status are the following:
- India National Congress
- Bharatiya Janata Party
- Bahujan Samaj Party
- Communist Party of India
- Communist Party of India (Marxist)
- Nationalist Congress Party
- All India Trinamool Congress
Trinamool Congress is the latest entrant into the league and was conferred National Party status in 2016. Recognition of political parties and National or State Parties is done by the Election Commission of India as per the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968, as amended from time to time.
As per paragraph 6B of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968, a political party has to meet any one of the following conditions to be recognized as a National Party:-
- Gets not less than 6% of the votes in the Loksabha election or State election in each of at least 4 states and gets 4 MPs elected to Loksabha.
- Gets 11 Loksabha MPs from at least 3 states.
- Has recognition as a State Party in at least 4 states.
As paragraph 6A of the Order, a party has to meet any of the following conditions to be recognized as a State Party:-
- Gets not less than 6% of the votes in the State Assembly election and at least 2 MLAs.
- Gets not less than 6% of the votes in the Loksabha election and at least 1 Loksabha MP.
- Gets not less than 3% of the total seats or 3 seats, whichever is more, in Assembly election.
- Gets not less than 1/25 Loksabha seats allotted to a state.
- Gets not less than 8% of the votes in the Loksabha or State Assembly election.
There are 36 recognized State Parties and 2044 registered unrecognized political parties in India presently. If a party is recognised as a State Party, it is entitled for exclusive allotment of its reserved symbol to its candidates in the states in which it is so recognised, and if a party is recognised as a National Party, it is entitled for exclusive allotment of its reserved symbol to its candidates throughout India.
After the 2014 Loksabha election, the CPI, BSP and the NCP did not meet any of the conditions to continue being a National Party. Hence the Election Commission of India issued notices to the CPI, BSP and the NCP proposing removal of their National Party status. The CPI(M) got only 9 seats, but was a State Party in 4 states. In May, 2016 in the State Assembly election in Tamil Nadu, the CPI(M) was left with zero seats in place of 10 seats it won earlier and its vote share was reduced to 0.72%. Hence the CPI(M) was running the risk of losing its National Party status. However, luckily for the CPI(M) and other parties, the Election Commission amended paragraph 6C of the Order in August, 2016, to provide that National or State Party status will be reviewed only after 10 years, instead of 5 years.
Hence the present Loksabha election becomes crucial for parties like the CPI(M), CPI, BSP and the NCP.