• 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.
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