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Recognition as national and state political party

Published: 15th Dec, 2022


Recently, the Aam Aadmi Party became the 9th National Party of India after the result of Gujarat elections where it gained almost 13% of the vote share.

  • At the time of the first General Elections (1952),there were 14 national parties in India.


  • The Election Commission of India (ECI)registers political parties for the purpose of elections and grants them recognition as national or state parties on the basis of their poll performance.
  • The other parties are simply declared asregistered-unrecognised parties.
    • As per the Representation of People Act 1951,registered political parties, in course of time, can get recognition as 'State Party’ or National Party’.

What is a National Party?

  • About:As the name suggests, it has a nationwide presence as opposed to a regional party that 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 influence.
  • Conditions for Declaring a Party ‘National’:

Declaration as a State Party

A party is recognised as a state party in a state if any of the following conditions is fulfilled:

  • If it secures 6% of the valid votes polled in the state at a general election to the respective state legislative assembly (state LA) and also, it wins 2 seats in the same state LA.
  • If it secures 6% of the total valid votes in the state at a general election to the LS; and also, it wins 1 seat in the LS from the same state.
  • If it wins 3% of seats in the LA at a general election to the legislative assembly of the state concerned or 3 seats in the assembly (whichever is more).
  • If it wins 1 seat in the LS for every 25 seats or any fraction thereof allotted to the state at a general election to the LS from the state concerned.
  • If it secures 8% of the total valid votes polled in the state at a General Election to the LS from the state or to the State LA.
  • As per the ECI’s Political Parties and Election Symbols, 2019 handbook,a political party would be considered a national party if:
    • It is ‘recognised’ in four or more states; or
    • If its candidates have secured at least 6% of total valid votes inat least 4 states (in latest Lok Sabha or Assembly elections) and the party has at least 4 MPs in the last LS polls; or
    • If it haswon at least 2% of the total seats in the LS from at least 3 states.

What is the Significance of Being Declared a National/State Party?

  • A recognised party (national or state) has theright to certain privileges like allocation of the party symbols, provision of time for political broadcasts on the state-owned television and radio stations and access to electoral rolls.
  • These parties are allowed to have40 “star campaigners” during the time of elections (the registered-unrecognised parties are allowed to have 20 “star campaigners”).
  • Everynational party is allotted a symbol exclusively reserved for its use throughout the country. Even in the states where it is not contesting elections.
    • For a state party, the allotted symbol is exclusively reserved for its use in the state/s in which it is so recognised.

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