After a landslide victory in the Assembly elections in West Bengal earlier this year, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) has yet another reason to rejoice as the Election Commission of India confirmed on Friday that the party has been granted national status.
The TMC was given the recognition of a national party after it successfully fulfilled one of the several conditions set by the independent body in the Symbols Order, 1968, ‘India Express’ reported.
Mamta Banerjee-led TMC is now the seventh recognized national party in the country. Others being the Congress, Bharatiya Janta Party, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), and Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI[M]), ‘The Hindu’ reported.
According to the criteria set for a party to be recognized as a ‘national party”, it has to have at least 2 per cent of the total seats in the Lok Sabha from at least three different states, or get at least 6 per cent votes in four states in addition to four Lok Sabha seats, or be recognised as a “state party” in four or more states. The TMC met the last condition.
Other than its dominance over West Bengal politics in recent years, the TMC has presence in Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura.
According to reports, only the TMC managed to get the status of a national party after the poll panel on August 22, 2016, amended a rule whereby it will now review the national and state party status of political parties every 10 years instead of the five.
According to a report in ‘Indian Express’, the TMC would have lost its state party status in Arunachal Pradesh after its poor showing during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, in which it secured only 1.5% of the vote share. But the amendment now requires parties to meet the minimum vote share every 10 years, instead of 5 years.