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Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019

NCP wants EC to decide on its national status after Maharashtra assembly polls

In a notice, the Election Commission had recently asked the NCP to explain why their national party status should not be revoked.

mumbai Updated: Aug 07, 2019 12:31 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Election Commission of India headquarter in New Delhi
Election Commission of India headquarter in New Delhi (ANI )
         

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) is set to request the Election Commission of India (ECI) to wait till the Maharashtra Assembly elections results before taking a decision on the national status of the party.

In a notice, the Election Commission had recently asked the NCP to explain why their national party status should not be revoked.

The notice was issued following assessment of the party’s performance based on its results in two consecutive elections. The rule for eligibility criteria was changed only in 2016.

According to The Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968, a political party can be recognised as a national party if it fulfils any of the following three conditions: First, its candidates secure at least 6% of votes polled in four or more states in Lok Sabha or assembly elections, and, in addition, it has at least four members in the Lok Sabha. Second, it has at least 2% of the total Lok Sabha seats and its candidates come from not less than three states. Third, it is recognised as a state party in at least four states.

NCP has got four MPs but got only 1.39% votes in the recently-held Lok Sabha elections. The party also got MPs elected only from two states — Maharashtra and Lakshadweep — this time.

“We have discussed the issue with the party leadership and it was decided to ask the election commission to wait till the conclusion of the state Assembly elections, which are scheduled only in October,” said a senior NCP leader requesting anonymity.

“We are hoping better results in the upcoming state assembly polls. Based on the party’s performance, the election commission can take its call on our national status,” he said.

SR Kohli, permanent secretary, NCP , said that they will be filing their response soon, which is also the last date for replying to the notice.

As of now, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Indian National Congress (INC), NCP, Trinamool Congress (TMC), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India (Marxist), and National People’s Party of Meghalaya have national party status.

Earlier, the election commission used to assess the eligibility based on the performance in one election. But in 2016, it altered the rules to expand the assessment period to two elections (this could be one general election and one state election, or two general elections, or two-state elections) after the one in which it was granted a national party or regional party status.

First Published: Aug 06, 2019 23:35 IST

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