The Nationalist Congress Party, the Trinamool Congress and the Communist Party of India could have their national party status revoked following their performance in the Lok Sabha elections, according to reports. As per sources, they are likely to be issued a show-cause notice by the Election Commission to explain why their status should not be revoked.
According to the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968, political parties need to secure at least six per cent of votes in four or more states in Lok Sabha or assembly elections, and, in addition, it must have at least four members in the Lok Sabha. A political party can also be declared as a national party if it wins 2% of the seats in the Lok Sabha and it wins seats from at least 3 states. Furthermore, it can be awarded the tag if it’s a declared state party in four states.
Various benefits come along with the tag. The national parties get various benefits like free air time on Doordarshan and All India Radio and a reserved national symbol throughout the country. Most importantly, they also get land at subsidized rates for their party offices.
The CPI and NCP had faced a similar threat after its poor performance in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections as well. However, they escaped consequences when the Election Commission amended its rule to state that the national party and state party status of political parties will be reviewed every 10 years, not 5.
The BSP, too, was in a similar position in 2014 but after winning 10 Lok Sabha seats in 2019 from Uttar Pradesh along with a few Assembly seats elsewhere, it appears to have gotten itself out of a tight spot.