Recognition of National or State Party


    In Context

    • Recently, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is on track to be recognised as a national party by the Election Commission of India (ECI).

    More about the National Parties 

    • About:
      • The name suggests that a national party would be the one that has a presence ‘nationally’, as opposed to a regional party whose presence is restricted to only a particular state or region.
      • A certain stature is sometimes associated with being a national party, but this does not necessarily translate into having a lot of national political clout.
    • Criteria for recognition as a National Party:
      • Authority & fulfillment:
        • The ECI has laid down the technical criterion for a party to be recognised as a national party. 
        • A party may gain or lose national party status from time to time, depending on the fulfillment of these laid-down conditions.
      • A political party would be considered a national party if:
        • It is ‘recognised’ in four or more states; or
        • If its candidates polled at least 6% of total valid votes in any four or more states in the last Lok Sabha or Assembly elections and has at least four MPs in the last Lok Sabha polls; or
        • If it has won at least 2% of the total seats in the Lok Sabha from not less than three states.
      • To be recognised as a state party, a party needs:
        • At least 6% vote-share in the last Assembly election and have at least 2 MLAs; or
        • have 6% vote-share in the last Lok Sabha elections from that state and at least one MP from that state; or
        • At least 3% of the total number of seats or three seats, whichever is more, in the last Assembly elections; or
        • At least one MP for every 25 members or any fraction allotted to the state in the Lok Sabha; or
        • Have at least 8% of the total valid votes in the last Assembly election or Lok Sabha election from the state.

    AAP’s current position:

    • The AAP is in power with big majorities and very large vote shares 
      • In Delhi and Punjab. And in the Goa Assembly elections held in March, it received 6.77% of the vote.
    • This meant that going into the Gujarat-Himachal elections, the party already fulfilled the criteria for recognition as a state party in three states.
    • It now required 6% of the vote in the Assembly elections in either Himachal or Gujarat to be recognised in a fourth state — which would qualify it for recognition as a national party.