National party tag: Election Commission holds hearings with NCP, CPI, TMC

New Delhi: The Election Commission Tuesday held hearings for the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Communist Party of India (CPI) and Trinamool Congress (TMC) to decide whether they should be allowed to retain their ‘national party’ status, two EC sources said Wednesday.

The EC had issued show-cause notices to the three parties in July 2019, asking them to explain why their national party status should not be revoked, after their performance in the Lok Sabha elections that year. Resuming the proceedings, the poll panel had asked the three parties to appear before it on Tuesday.

Under Para 6B the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968, a party is eligible to be considered as a national party if it is a recognised state party in four or more states; if its candidates polled at least 6% of the valid votes in four or more states in the last Lok Sabha or Assembly election and it has at least four MPs elected in the last election or if it wins at least 2% of the total Lok Sabha seats in at least three states.

According to the sources, the review of the national party status was held under Para 6C of the Order, which states that the continuation of the recognition as a national party will depend on the fulfilment of the conditions under Para 6B. The hearing process was not over, a source said.

When asked, a TMC spokesperson declined to comment. A CPI leader said it was a routine exercise.

The EC had also issued notices to six other parties over their continued recognition as ‘state parties’. The six parties – the People’s Democratic Alliance, Bharat Rashtra Samithi, Mizoram People’s Conference, Pattali Makkal Katchi, Revolutionary Socialist Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal – were asked to appear for hearings on Monday, an EC source said.

While the PDP sought another date, the Mizoram People’s Conference did not attend the hearing. The other four parties attended the hearings, the source said.

To be recognised as a state party, as per Para 6A of the Order, a party has to fulfil one of the following conditions – have at least 6% vote share in the last Assembly election and minimum of two MLAs; or have 6% vote share in the last Lok Sabha elections from that state and one MP from the state; or at least 3% of the total seats or three seats, whichever is more, in the last Assembly elections; or one MP for every 25 members of any fraction allotted to the state in the Lok Sabha; or at least 8% of the total valid votes in the last Assembly or Lok Sabha election from the state.



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