For getting "national party" status, a party should be a recognised "state party" in at least four states.
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 the Lok Sabha.
It also should have at least two per cent of the total Lok Sabha seats and its candidates come from not less than three states.
The three parties also told the EC that they are old parties and have played a key role in national politics. Hence, their status should not be based on recent electoral performance only.
Though the TMC won 22 LS seats in West Bengal, NCP four seats in Maharashtra and CPI two seats in Tamil Nadu, their candidates polled poorly in other states.
If the parties get de-recognition they would be considered "registered but not a recognised party."
They are bound to lose facilities and concessions hitherto enjoyed by them in those states where their recognition was withdrawn. They could not participate in official meetings of the recognised parties convened by the EC or the State Election Department, and could not seek votes through the state-owned Doordarshan or All India Radio during elections.
A 'state party' is entitled to exclusive allotment of its reserved symbol to its candidates in the states where it is recognised, and a candidate of a national party can use the reserved symbol throughout India.
The CPI 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.
As of now, the TMC, BJP, BSP, CPI, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Indian National Congress (INC), NCP and National People's Party of Meghalaya have national party status.
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