The BSP, CPI and NCP can retain their ‘national party’ status after the Election Commission of India (EC) amended rules to allow a review of the national and state rank of political parties every two election cycles, or 10 years. Earlier, this was reviewed every five years.
As many as 12 state and national parties risked losing their status owing to abysmal performance in the Lok Sabha elections in 2014 and subsequent polls. The 12 political parties included BSP, CPI and NCP.
But on Monday, the EC said it tweaked the Election Symbols Order to introduce a clause to review state and national party status every 10 years. This is effective from January 1, 2014.
According to the standards set by the poll panel, a ‘national party’ needs to either get at least 6 per cent votes each from at least four states, or get 2 per cent of total seats in the Lok Sabha from at least three states, or it should be recognised as a state party in at least four states. At the Assembly level, parties need to hold at least 6 per cent of the total votes to keep their status.