The Election Commission on Monday granted national party status to the Aam Aadmi Party while withdrawing the tag from the Nationalist Congress Party, the All India Trinamool Congress and the Communist Party of India, PTI reported.
The poll panel recognised the Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) as a state party in Nagaland and granted the status to Voice of the People Party in Meghalaya and the Tipra Motha Party in Tripura.
Aam Aadmi Party’s recognition as a national party comes after the Karnataka High Court had directed the Election Commission last week to pass appropriate orders regarding its status by April 13, reported The Indian Express.
The High Court had made the direction while hearing a petition by Aam Aadmi Party’s Karnataka convenor Prithvi Reddy, who said that the outfit fulfills all the criteria to become a national party but has been denied the tag by the poll panel.
According to the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968, a political party is recognised as a national party if it fulfils any of the following three conditions: First, it secures at least 6% of votes polled in four or more states in the Lok Sabha or Assembly elections and have at least four members in the Lok Sabha. Second, the party should have at least 2% of the total Lok Sabha seats and its candidates come from not less than three states.
An outfit can also be granted the status of national party if it has been recognised as a state party in four states, according to the third condition.
The Aam Aadmi Party, formed in November 2012, is currently in power in Delhi and Punjab. The party also contested Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat last year. In the Goa Assembly elections held in March last year, the party had received 6.77% of the vote while it won five seats in the Gujarat Assembly.
The Aam Aadmi Party will also be contesting the Karnataka Assembly elections that will be held on May 10.
Aam Aadmi Party’s national convenor and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said that the Election Commission’s decision was nothing less than a miracle.
“Many congratulations to all,” he wrote on Twitter. “Crores of people of the country have brought us here. People expect a lot from us. Today people have given us a huge responsibility. I pray to the God, to bless us to fulfil this responsibility with full dedication.”
The national status gives an organisation several advantages such as a common party symbol across the country, free airtime on public broadcasters for election campaigns and space for a party office in New Delhi.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Bahujan Samaj Party and National People’s Party are the other remaining national parties now.
In 2019, the polling body had issued show cause notices to the Nationalist Congress Party, the Trinamool Congress and the Communist Party of India on withdrawing their national party status after their poor performances in the Lok Sabha elections.