From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : National/State Political Parties
Mains level : Political Parties and their dynamics
- Recently a political party viz. National People’s Party (NPP) in Meghalaya got recognition as a “national party”.
- The NPP is the eighth party to get that recognition — after INC, BJP, BSP, NCP, CPI, CPI(M) and TMC — and the first from the Northeast.
Recognizing a National Party
- The Election Commission lists political parties as “national party”, “state party” or “registered (unrecognised) party”.
- The conditions for being listed as a national or a state party are specified under the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968.
- A party has to satisfy any one of a number of these conditions.
For recognition as a NATIONAL PARTY, the conditions specified are:
- a 6% vote share in the last Assembly polls in each of any four states, as well as four seats in the last Lok Sabha polls; or
- 2% of all Lok Sabha seats in the last such election, with MPs elected from at least three states; or
- recognition as a state party in at least four states.
For recognition as a STATE PARTY, any one of five conditions needs to be satisfied:
- two seats plus a 6% vote share in the last Assembly election in that state; or
- one seat plus a 6% vote share in the last Lok Sabha election from that state; or
- 3% of the total Assembly seats or 3 seats, whichever is more; or
- one of every 25 Lok Sabha seats (or an equivalent fraction) from a state; or
- an 8% state-wide vote share in either the last Lok Sabha or the last Assembly polls.
Benefits of such recognition
- 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.
- 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.
Losing the recognition
- Once recognised as a national or a 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 fulfil any of the conditions for two successive Assembly and two successive Lok Sabha elections.