The Election Commission on Thursday 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, AIR News reported.
The parties have been asked to respond to the notice by August 5. According to the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968, a political party is recognised as a national party if its candidates secure at least 6% votes polled in four or more states in the Lok Sabha or Assembly elections and has at least four members in the Lok Sabha, according to PTI. It also should have at least 2% of the total Lok Sabha seats and its candidates come from not less than three states.
The Trinamool Congress does not fulfil the criteria for state recognition in Arunachal Pradesh, but retained the status in West Bengal, Tripura and Manipur, The Times of India reported. The Nationalist Congress Party fell short in Meghalaya and Goa, while it is still a state party in Maharashtra and Nagaland. The Communist Party of India is only recognised in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Manipur.
The Communist Party of India, Bahujan Samaj Party and the Nationalist Congress Party had faced the prospect of losing their national party status after their dismal performance in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The parties got a reprieve after the poll body amended rules in 2016, saying national and state party status of political parties are to be reviewed every 10 years instead of five.
The Bahujan Samaj Party, which won 10 Lok Sabha and some Assembly seats, does not face the possibility of losing its national party status now.