The All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Friday has been recognised as a national party by the Election Commission of India after fulfilling one of the three conditions laid down by the independent body in the Symbols Order, 1968.
TMC qualified for the status as it is recognised as a state party in four states. The Mamata Banerjee-led party will join BJP, BSP, NCP, CPI and CPM, which are recognised as national parties. According to the criteria set by the poll panel, a “national party” needs to win at least two per cent of the total seats in the Lok Sabha (11 seats) from at least three different states, or get at least six per cent votes in four states in addition to four Lok Sabha seats, or be recognised as a “state party” in four or more states. The TMC met the last condition.
TMC wouldn’t have been able to meet the criteria had the Election Commission not amended its Symbols Order last month, allowing all political parties to retain their state and national party status for every two election cycles or every 10 years.
The Indian Express had reported that the Trinamool Congress would have lost its state party status in Arunachal Pradesh after its poor showing during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections — party secured only 1.5 per cent of the vote share. In order to retain its state party status the party should have polled at least 8 per cent of votes. But the amendment now requires all state parties to meet this criterion every 10 years, instead of five.