- Election Commission of India has granted ‘National Party’ status to Aam Aadmi Party.
- Citing Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968, which stipulates criteria for recognition as a national or state party, ECI now recognises six national parties:
- Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP),
- Indian National Congress,
- Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP),
- Communist Party of India (CPI) (Marxist),
- National People’s Party (NPP) and
- Trinamool Congress (TMC), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and CPI lost their national party status.
- ECI reviewed parties’ performances in 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha polls and 21 state assembly polls since 2014.
Criteria for National Party
- Votes in LS, state polls: A party should secure at least 6% of votes polled in four or more states in LS or assembly elections, and, in addition, have at least four members in LS, or
- Seats in LS: It should have at least 2% of total Lok Sabha seats, and have candidates from not less than three states, or
- Must be a state party: in at least four states.
Benefits of being a National Party
- Exclusive allotment of its reserved symbol to candidates set up by it throughout India.
- Need only one person to propose a candidate’s name to enable them to file nominations.
- Get broadcast/telecast facilities over Akashvani/Doordarshan during general elections.
- Can have up to 40-star campaigners while other can have up to 20-star campaigners.