- The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), led by Arvind Kejriwal, has been given national party status by the Election Commission based on its electoral performance in four states – Delhi, Goa, Punjab, and Gujarat.
- A national party tag allows an organization to get a common poll symbol across the country, more star campaigners, free air time on national broadcasters for election campaigns, and office space in Delhi.
- Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress have been downgraded to the status of regional parties, while the Communist Party of India (CPI) was also assigned regional party status.
- To be recognized as a national party, a political party must be a recognized state party in at least four states or have 2% of the seats in the Lok Sabha.
- Losing national party status means a party will not get a common symbol for its candidates in states where it’s not recognized.
- Currently, there are six national parties in India – Congress, BJP, CPI(M), Bahujan Samaj Party, National People’s Party (NPP), and AAP.
- AAP is currently in power in Delhi and Punjab and is contesting on all 224 seats in the upcoming Karnataka assembly elections.
- The Election Commission also revoked 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.
Significance & Facts about ECI & National Party Status
In India, political parties can be recognized either as a national party or a state party. The Election Commission of India (ECI) recognizes a party as a national party if it meets certain criteria, which includes being recognized as a state party in at least four states or obtaining a minimum of 2% of the total seats in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian parliament.
National parties have several advantages over state parties, such as the right to a common symbol across all states and territories, more star campaigners, free airtime on national broadcasters for election campaigns, and by convention, office space in Delhi. This recognition is important for political parties as it can significantly impact their election prospects.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was recently granted national party status by the ECI based on its electoral performance in four states – Delhi, Goa, Punjab, and Gujarat. The AAP’s promotion to national party status is a significant achievement for the party, which was founded in 2012 by social activist Anna Hazare and is currently in power in Delhi and Punjab.
Other national parties in India include the Indian National Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Bahujan Samaj Party, and the National People’s Party.
The ECI is an independent constitutional authority responsible for overseeing the conduct of elections in India. It is responsible for enforcing election laws and regulations, ensuring free and fair elections, and conducting the election process in an efficient and transparent manner. The ECI plays a crucial role in upholding the principles of democracy and ensuring that the electoral process is fair and unbiased.