Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress Is Now A National Party
After an amendment of EC rules, Mamata Banerjee’s party met the qualifications required for national recognition.
The Election Commission declared West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Benerjee’s party, Trinamool Congress, as a national party on Friday.
After winning two consecutive Assembly polls in West Bengal, this is considred to be yet another feather in Banerjee’s cap.
The party met with one of the conditions mentioned in the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968 — recognition as a state party in at least four states, EC sources said.
It is a recognised state party in West Bengal, Manipur, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh and will join ranks with six recognised national parties — Congress, BJP, BSP, CPI, CPI-M, and NCP.
EC Amendment Enabled TMC Recognition
The poll panel had on 22 August amended a rule whereby it will now review the national and state party status of political parties every 10 years instead of the five.
Had the rule not been amended, TMC would not have been recognised as a national party as it had not performed well in the Arunachal Pradesh Assembly polls and would have lost the state party status there.
The amendment in the rule had also come as a major reprieve for BSP, NCP and CPI as they were facing the prospect of losing their national party status after their dismal performance in the 2014 Lok Sabha election. The EC had served them notices in 2014 on the issue.
Existing Rules to Gain National Recognition
A political party becomes eligible to be recognised as a national party if:
- It has won 2 percent of seats in Lok Sabha from at least three different states in the latest general election
- Or in a Lok Sabha or Assembly election it has polled 6 percent of the total valid votes in at least four states, in addition to winning four Lok Sabha seats
- Or it has been recognised as a state party in at least four states
Besides, these parties get land or buildings from the government to set up their party offices. They can have up to 40 ‘star campaigners’ during election campaigns. Others can have up to 20 ‘star campaigners’.
Recognition as a national or a state party ensures that the election symbol of that party is not used by any other political entity in polls across India. Other registered but unrecognised political parties have to choose from a pool of “free symbols” announced by the commission from time to time.
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