The Conrad Sangma-led National People’s Party, which is in power in Meghalaya, on Friday became the first political party from the North East to get national party status. It is already recognised as a state party in Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, and Nagaland.

“The party has fulfilled the eligibility condition for being a recognised as a national party as laid down in paragraph 6B (iii) [recognised as state party in at least four states],” said Election Commission of India Secretary Pramod Kumar Sharma. The outfit has been given the “book symbol” following its request, Sharma added.

“Glad to announce to our party supporters, well-wishers and members of NPP that Election Commission of India has accorded ‘National Party’ status to the National People’s Party,” Conrad Sangma tweeted. “Thank you North East for all your support.”

Sangma said it was a very nostalgic moment for those associated with the party founded by Purno Agitok Sangma. “It is not just an achievement for NPP but for the people of North East for their overwhelming support and thrust bestowed on the party,” he said. “The recognition of NPP as national party status will surely motivate each member of the family of NPP and will further enable us to work for the greater cause of the region and its people.”

The National People’s Party has one MP in the Lok Sabha. Conrad Sangma’s sister Agatha Sangma won the election from the Tura Lok Sabha constituency in Meghalaya.