New Delhi: A few established parties, which are at risk of losing their national party status, have urged the Election Commission of India for a fresh opportunity to improve their electoral performance.
During a personal hearing with the EC, the agents of Communist Party of India (CPI) and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), stressed on the role they have played in shaping national politics to downplay the adverse impact of the recent national elections on them.
The Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress, which fared far better than the CPI and Sharad Pawar's NCP, too made an appeal before the election body to save its coveted tag of being a national party.
According to the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968, a political party can be recognised as a national party if its candidates secure at least six per cent of votes polled in four or more states in Lok Sabha or assembly elections, and, in addition, it has at least four members in Lok Sabha.
The Election Commission had earlier issued them notices asking why their 'national party' status should not be revoked following their performance in the Lok Sabha elections.
The CPI is learnt to have said that after the Congress, it is the oldest party in the country which had been the principal opposition party in Lok Sabha.
The Left party said though it may not have fared well in the recent Lok Sabha elections, it has been in power in several states and has played a key role in strengthening the Constitution.
The TMC is learnt to have said that it was given national party status in 2014 and it should be allowed to continue with it at least till 2024.
The CPI, BSP and the NCP were facing the prospect of losing their national party status after their dismal performance in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections as well.
However, they got a reprieve when in 2016 the EC amended its rules, whereby national and state party status of political parties are to be reviewed every 10 years instead of five.
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which won 10 Lok Sabha in the last parliament polls, and some assembly seats, does not face the possibility of losing its national party status now.
As of now, the Indian National Congress (INC), BJP, BSP, CPI, Communist Party of India (Marxist), TMC, NCP and the National People's Party of Meghalaya have national party status.
(With inputs from PTI)