The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was leading in 5 seats in Gujrat after more than seven hours of counting votes on December 8, but its vote share was close to 13%, which meant it is on track to be recognized as a national party by the Election Commission of India (ECI).
2. National Party
- The name suggests that a national party would have 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, like the communist 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, and TRS in Telengana-and having a major say in national affairs, remain regional parties.
3. 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 Sabha or Assembly elections and have 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.
3.1 To be recognized as a state party, a party needs:
- At least 6% vote-share in the last Assembly election and have at least 2 MLA's; 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.
4. Other National Parties
The ECI has recognized 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), which was recognized in 2019.
Once the official results of the Gujarat elections are announced, AAP will become the ninth party to be recognized as a national party.
5. When can a party lose its tag?
- Once recognized as a national or state party, a political party retains that status irrespective of its performance in the next elections.
- It loses the given status only if it fails to fulfill any of the conditions for two successive Assembly and two successive Lok Sabha elections.
|For Prelims: National Party, Election Commission of India (ECI), 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).
Source: The Indian Express