Trinamool Congress (TMC), Communist Party of India (CPI) and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) urged the Election Commission (EC) to keep their national party status and asked for a chance to prove their electoral performance. The parties appeared for a personal hearing before the commission on Monday. The three parties reportedly told the Election Commission that they have played an important role in the national politics and their status should not be based on recent electoral performances.
The Election Commission had issued them notices asking why their status should not be revoked after their performance in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Reportedly, the CPI in its defence said that it's the oldest party in India after Congress and the principal opposition party in Lok Sabha. The party also argued that it has been in power in several states and has played an important role in strengthening the constitution. "We told the EC that we are one of the oldest political parties in the country which was at the forefront of the freedom struggle. We have requested the EC to allow us to retain the national party status," CPI General Secretary D Raja told the reporters after the meeting.
The TMC, that was given a national party status in 2014, on the other hand, argued that its status should be intact till 2024 at least. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) was also seeing a possiblity of losing their status. However, they got a reprieve when the EC amended its rules where national and state parties are to be reviewed every 10 years instead of 5.
The BSP which won 10 Lok Sabha seats in the last parliament polls and a few assembly seats does not face the possibility of losing its status now. The Congress, BJP, BSP, CPI, Communist Party of India (Marxist), TMC, NCP and the National People's Party of Meghalaya are the parties that have the National Party status.
According to the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968 a political party will be recognised as a National Party if the party secures at least six per cent of votes in four or more than four states in Lok Sabha or assembly elections. The party must also have at least four members in Lok Sabha.
(Inputs from PTI)