Table of Contents
About National Party
- According to the Election Commission (EC), political parties are listed as “national party”, “state party” or “registered (unrecognised) party”.
- 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.
- Election Commission of India (ECI) has laid down the technical criterion for a party to be recognised as a national party.
- Conditions for being listed as a national or a state party are specified under the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968.
- Qualifications for becoming a national party are any of the following:
- It is ‘recognised’ in four or more states; or
- If it has won at least 2% of the total seats in the Lok Sabha from not less than three states; Or
- If its candidates polled at least 6% of total valid votes in any four or more states in the last Lok Sabha or Assembly elections and has at least four MPs in the last Lok Sabha polls.
- Qualifications for becoming a state party:
- At least 6% vote-share in the last Assembly election and have at least 2 MLAs; or
- Have 6% vote-share in the last Lok Sabha elections from that state and at least one MP from that state; or
- At least 3% of the total number of seats or three seats, whichever is more, in the last Assembly elections; or
- At least one MP for every 25 members or any fraction allotted to the state in the Lok Sabha; or
- Have at least 8% of the total valid votes in the last Assembly election or Lok Sabha election from the state.
- Other National Parties: Currently, ECI has recognised eight parties as national parties — the BJP, Congress, Trinamool Congress, CPI(M), CPI, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), and Conrad Sangma’s National People’s Party (NPP).
- A party may gain or lose national party status from time to time, depending on the fulfilment of these laid-down conditions.
Advantages of Becoming a National Party
- National Party is entitled to a reserved symbol for its candidates contesting from across the country.
- Candidates from a national party require only one proposer to file their nominations and are entitled to two sets of electoral rolls free of cost.
- National parties get dedicated broadcast slots on public broadcasters Doordarshan and All India Radio during the general elections.
- A national party can have a maximum of 40 ‘star campaigners’ while a registered unrecognised party can nominate a maximum of 20 ‘star campaigners’, whose travel expenses are not accounted for in the election expense accounts of candidates.
- It also means a government bungalow in New Delhi for its national president and office space at a subsidised rate in the national capital.
AAP Journey of Becoming National Party
- Once the official results of the Gujarat elections are announced, AAP will become the ninth party to be recognised as a
- In Gujarat, the AAP vote share is around 12 per cent, and it has won Six seats. This means it has met the criteria — 6 per cent vote and two seats — to be recognised as a ‘state party’ by the Election Commission.
- This will be the fourth state where it gets the ‘state party‘ recognition, as it has fulfilled the ‘6 per cent votes plus two seats’ criteria in Delhi, Punjab and Goa already.