Published on: December 12, 2022



Why in news?  Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to be recognized as a National Party by Election Commission of India


What is a national party?

  • The name suggests that a national party would be one that has a presence ‘nationally’, as opposed to a regional party whose presence is restricted to only a particular state or region.
  • National parties are usually India’s bigger parties, such as the Congress and BJP.
  • However, some smaller parties, like the communist parties, are also recognised as national parties.

How is a national party defined?

  • 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 fulfilment of these laid-down conditions.

What are criteria for National Party status ?

  • As per the ECI’s Political Parties and Election Symbols, 2019 handbook, a political party would be considered a national party if:
  1. It is ‘recognised’ in four or more states or
  2. 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
  3. 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:

  1. 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
  2. At least 3% of the total number of seats or three seats, whichever is more, in the last Assembly elections or
  3. At least one MP for every 25 members or any fraction allotted to the state in the Lok Sabha or
  4. Have at least 8% of the total valid votes in the last Assembly election or Lok Sabha election from the state.