The Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Friday was accorded the status of a national party by the Election Commission after the party satisfied one of the conditions mentioned in the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968.
The party, apart from West Bengal, has presence in Manipur, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh. With this the number of officially recognised national parties in India reached seven — the Congress, BJP, BSP, CPI, CPI-M, NCP and All India Trinamool Congress.
According to the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968, a political party shall be eligible to be recognised as a national party either if it secures at least six per cent of the valid votes polled in any four or more states in a general election or in the state legislative assembly and if it wins at least four seats in the assembly states, or it wins at least two per cent seats in the House of the People, that is, 11 seats in the Lok Sabha and these members are elected from at least three different states.
Getting recognised as a national or a state party also 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.