This is much-needed as some of these parties were carrying tags which have long since become moot and did not reflect popular reality
The Election Commission of India’s recent order has aptly and as per procedure revised the status of various registered and recognised parties in the country, based on their electoral performance in the last two Lok Sabha elections of 2014 and 2019, and a bunch of state elections. This is much-needed as some of these parties were carrying tags which have long since become moot and did not reflect popular reality.
The most significant reality since 2014, besides the Bharatiya Janata Party’s peerless growth and consolidation as India’s most dominant party (the BJP claims to be the world’s largest political party amongst democratic countries), is the rise of the Aam Aadmi Party. It is now a recognised national party.
The AAP has received the national tag, after it could successfully form a government in Delhi three times and in Punjab for the first time, besides contesting elections in several states and receiving the mandatory share of votes there, including in Goa and Gujarat. It joins a list of only six parties which are now considered national — BJP, Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party, CPI(M) and National People’s Party. A party must, under the Election Symbols Order, fulfil the requirement of becoming a recognised state-level party in at least four states to be deemed a national party.
Ahead of a year when the country will hold the general election with the Opposition busy trying to forge an alliance to stop the BJP juggernaut, the AAP will find the tag useful in negotiations. At the same time, two important regional parties lost their national tag — the NCP and the TMC. The CPI also lost its national party status and is now relegated to a state-level party.
The AAP will benefit from the reserving of its symbol for contesting polls across all states. The Bharat Rashtra Samithi, which was carved out of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, meanwhile, continues to be a state-level party in Telangana and will, therefore, be unable to use the power of its symbol in other states.