The Election Commission has recognized the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as a national party and stripped the All India Trinamool Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), and Communist Party of India of their national party status (CPI).
Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) in Uttar Pradesh, Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS) in Andhra Pradesh, People’s Democratic Alliance in Manipur, Pattali Makkal Katchi in Puducherry, Revolutionary Socialist Party in West Bengal, and Mizoram People’s Conference in Mizoram have also lost their state party status.
Trinamool, Nationalist Congress Party, and Communist Party of India no longer qualify as “national parties.”
According to the Election Commission, any one of these three requirements must be fulfilled for a party to be considered a “national party.”
- A party’s candidates in at least four states must have received at least 6% of the total ballots cast in each of those states during the previous national election. In addition, the party should have won four Lok Sabha seats.
- A party must secure at least 2% of the total number of Lok Sabha seats. Candidates for the party should have been elected in at least three states.
- A party is recognized in at least four states as a “state party.”
Previously, seven national parties existed: Trinamool, Bahujan Samaj Party, BJP, CPI, CPI (Marxist), Congress, and NCP.
With the removal of NCP, Trinamool, and CPI and the addition of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP, India now has five national parties.
The Trinamool was designated a “national party” in 2016, but its dismal performance in Goa and some northeastern states led to the status being revoked.
Sharad Pawar founded the NCP in 1999, and it became a national party in 2000 after a string of electoral victories.
The CPI, which was founded in 1925, was recognized as a national party in 1989, but this designation was revoked after its dismal performance in the elections in West Bengal and Odisha.