In India there are so many Political Parties. We cannot say all the Political Parties are State Parties or National Parties. A party may be the majority in a particular state. But still it cannot be called National Party. A party may be very famous in a particular state. But still it cannot be called State Party. Registered parties are upgraded as recognized national or state level parties based upon some criteria.
India has a multi-party system, where political parties are classified as national, state or regional level parties. The status of party is accorded by the Election Commission of India, and the same is reviewed occasionally. All parties are registered with the Election Commission.
The Election Commission has laid down certain criteria for a party to be recognised as national or state level parties.
National Party & State Party
A party has to live up to at least one of the following qualifications to be recognised as a national party:
- It has to win a minimum of two per cent of the seats in the Lok Sabha from at least three different states.
- In General Elections, the party must manage to win six per cent of the votes and win at least four Lok Sabha seats as well.
- The party is recognised as a ‘state level party’ in four or more states.
Once a political party is recognised as a national party, the question of whether it continues to be recognised as such after subsequent Lok Sabha polls depends on whether it fulfils any of the three conditions.
Are there any other benefits of being recognised as a national party?
- Candidates from a national party require only one proposer to file their nominations and are entitled to two sets of electoral rolls free of cost.
- National parties get dedicated broadcast slots on public broadcasters Doordarshan and All India Radio during the general elections.
- Further, political parties are entitled to nominate ‘star campaigners’ during general elections.
- A national party can have a maximum of 40 ‘star campaigners’ while a registered unrecognised party can nominate a maximum of 20 ‘star campaigners’, whose travel expenses are not accounted for in the election expense accounts of candidates.
National Parties in India
- Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)
- Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
- Communist Party of India (CPI)
- Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M))
- Indian National Congress (INC)
- Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)
A party has to live up to at least one of the following qualifications to be acknowledged as a state party.
- The party has to win at least three seats or three per cent of the seats in the state legislative Assembly.
- It has to win minimum one seat in the Lok Sabha for every 25 seats or any fraction allotted to that concerned state.
- In a particular election, the party has to bag at least six per cent of the total votes, and also win one Lok Sabha and two Assembly seats.
- The status of a state party can still be bestowed upon an entity even if it fails to win any seats in the Lok Sabha or the Assembly, if it manages to win at least eight per cent of the total votes cast in the entire state.
- The Election Commission of India is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering election processes to Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, state legislatures and the offices of the President and Vice President in India.
- Until 1989, the commission was a single member body, but later two additional Election Commissioners were added. Thus, the Election Commission currently consists of a Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners.
- Nasim Zaidi is the current Chief Election Commissioner and other two Election Commissioners are Achal Kumar Jyoti and Om Prakash Rawat.