This Article is From Mar 21, 2023

Sharad Pawar's NCP's National Status To Be Reviewed By Poll Body: Sources

The election body will be hearing a representation from the NCP today.

Sharad Pawar's NCP does not satisfy the requirements for national party status, sources said.

New Delhi:

The Election Commission has decided to review the "national party" status of Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress party. The Commission will hear a representation from the party today, which seeks a review of its decision. Sources said the NCP does not satisfy the requirements for national party status any more.

A political party is recognised as a "national party" if it is ‘recognised' in four or more states or got at least 6 per cent votes in at least four states. Else, it should win at least 2 per cent seats in the Lok Sabha from three states or have at least four MPs in the last Lok Sabha polls.

The national party status for any party comes with a host of advantages. They get a common party symbol across states, space for a party office in New Delhi, and free airtime during elections on public broadcasters.

The NCP, along with Mayawati's BSP and CPI, stood to lose their national party status after the 2014 parliamentary poll. But the Election Commission had agreed at the time to take a lenient view and decided to review their status after two poll cycles.

The national party status of NCP again came up for review before the poll commission after the 2019 general election, along with that of CPI and Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress. But the commission again decided to retain status quo in view of a string of assembly elections that were coming up.

Under the Symbols Order 1968, a party, on losing the national status, does not have the right to contest elections using a common symbol across the country.

In case NCP's representation is not accepted, the party will be able to use its election symbol only in states where it is recognised as a state party.

The Election Commission had revised the rules for review of "national party" status in 2016, under which a review comes up every 10 years instead of five.