Trinamool Congress became the 7th political party to be recognized as a National Party in September 2016. But when is a political party recognized as National or State?
All India Trinamool Congress became the 7th political party to be recognized as a National Party in the country in the year 2016. BJP, Congress, CPI, CPI(M), BSP & NCP are six other political parties to be recognized as National Parties. But when is a party recognized as a State or National Party and what are the advantages of being recognized?
The Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968
A registered political party is accorded the status of a recognized state or national party as per the criteria listed in ‘The Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968’. This order was amended from time to time.
Recognition as a State Party
For any political party to be eligible for recognition as a State Party in a state, it has to satisfy any of the five conditions listed below.
In brief, the five conditions are:
|1||Secure at least 6% of the valid vote & win at least 2 seats in an Assembly General Election|
|2||Secure at least 6% of the valid vote & win at least 1 seats in a Lok Sabha General Election|
|3||Win at least 3% of the seats or at least 3 seats , whichever is more, in an Assembly General Election|
|4||Win at least 1 out of every 25 seats from a state in a Lok Sabha General Election|
|5||Secure at least 8% of the total valid vote in an Assembly or a Lok Sabha General Election|
Recognition as a National Party
For any political party to be eligible for recognition as a National Party, it has to satisfy any of the three conditions listed below.
In brief, the three conditions are:
|1||Secure at least 6% of the valid vote in an Assembly or a Lok Sabha General Election in any four or more states and won at least 4 seats in a Lok Sabha General Election from any State or States|
|2||Win at least 2% of the total Lok Sabha seats in a Lok Sabha General Election and these seats have to be won from at least 3 states|
|3||The party is recognized as a State Party in at least four states|
Trinamool Congress is now recognized as a National Party as it has satisfied the eligibility criteria for a State Party in the four states of West Bengal, Tripura, Manipur & Arunachal Pradesh.
Though some of the other six national parties did not perform as well in the recently held elections, their national party status is intact following an amendment made to the allotment rules recently. Their status will now be reviewed only after the next general election.
Advantages of being recognized as a State or National Party
The biggest advantage of being recognized is getting the reserved symbol. A party recognized as a state party gets a reserved symbol within the state. All the candidates contesting from that party will get the same symbol throughout the state. For National Parties, the reserved symbol can be used across the country by its contesting candidates. This is one the biggest advantages since symbol plays a very important role in elections.
There are also other advantages to the recognized parties like subsidized land for party offices, free air time on Doordarshan & All India Radio, supply of electoral roll copies free of cost during elections etc.
As on date, there are 7 national parties, more than 50 state parties and more than 2300 registered parties that are unrecognized. Independents and candidates from the unrecognized parties can choose the from the list of more than 100 free symbols available as their election symbol.