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Indian Polity

National and State Parties

  • 10 Dec 2022
  • 5 min read

For Prelims: Election Commission of India, Declaration of national and state parties, registered- unrecognised parties, Representation of People Act 1951

For Mains: Procedure of recognition of political parties as national or state

Why in News?

Recently, the Aam Aadmi Party became the 9th National Party of India after the result of Gujarat elections where it gained almost 13% of the vote share.

  • At the time of the first General Elections (1952), there were 14 national parties in India.

Note

What is a National Party?

  • About: As the name suggests, it has a nationwide presence as opposed to a regional party that is restricted to only a particular state or region.
    • A certain stature is sometimes associated with being a national party, but this does not necessarily translate into having a lot of national political influence.
  • Conditions for Declaring a Party ‘National’:
    • As per the ECI’s Political Parties and Election Symbols, 2019 handbook, a political party would be considered a national party if:
      • It is ‘recognised’ in four or more states; or
      • If its candidates have secured at least 6% of total valid votes in at least 4 states (in latest Lok Sabha or Assembly elections) and the party has at least 4 MPs in the last LS polls; or
      • If it has won at least 2% of the total seats in the LS from at least 3 states.

How is a Party Declared a State Party?

  • A party is recognised as a state party in a state if any of the following conditions is fulfilled:
    • If it secures 6% of the valid votes polled in the state at a general election to the respective state legislative assembly (state LA) and also, it wins 2 seats in the same state LA.
    • If it secures 6% of the total valid votes in the state at a general election to the LS; and also, it wins 1 seat in the LS from the same state.
    • If it wins 3% of seats in the LA at a general election to the legislative assembly of the state concerned or 3 seats in the assembly (whichever is more).
    • If it wins 1 seat in the LS for every 25 seats or any fraction thereof allotted to the state at a general election to the LS from the state concerned.
    • If it secures 8% of the total valid votes polled in the state at a General Election to the LS from the state or to the State LA.

What is the Significance of Being Declared a National/State Party?

  • A recognised party (national or state) has the right to certain privileges like allocation of the party symbols, provision of time for political broadcasts on the state-owned television and radio stations and access to electoral rolls.
  • These parties are allowed to have 40 “star campaigners” during the time of elections (the registered-unrecognised parties are allowed to have 20 “star campaigners”).
  • Every national party is allotted a symbol exclusively reserved for its use throughout the country. Even in the states where it is not contesting elections.
    • For a state party, the allotted symbol is exclusively reserved for its use in the state/s in which it is so recognised.

Source: IE

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