The Election Commission served showcause notices to three political parties on Thursday, seeking explanation on why their national party status should not be withdrawn after their rout in the Lok Sabha elections.
According to the criteria set by the poll panel, a national party needs to get at least 6 per cent votes each from a minimum of four states, or get 2 per cent of the total seats in Lok Sabha from at least three states, or it should be recognised as a state party in at least four states.
NCP, TMC, and CPI no longer fulfill any of the above conditions. If they are derecognised, then BJP, Congress, National People’s Party, CPM and BSP will be the only political parties that will continue to enjoy the national tag.
Under the Symbols Order 1968, a party, on losing the national status, does not have the right to fight elections using a common symbol across the country. In other words, if the decision is implemented, the analogue clock symbol will not be reserved for all NCP candidates across the country. It can use it only in states where it is recognised as a state party.
This is equivalent to losing the national character of the party.
After the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, BSP, CPI and NCP stood to lose their national party status, but EC agreed to take a lenient view and decided to review their status after two poll cycles. According to sources, EC is unlikely to agree to any such demand this time.