Election Commission restarts hearing NCP, TMC, CPI on status downgrade | India News


NEW DELHI: Over three-and-a-half years since nine parties — three national parties NCP, Trinamool Congress and CPI and six state parties — were issued notices by the Election Commission on why their ‘status’ should not be downgraded based on their performance in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the poll body has resumed in-person hearings on this issue.
The proceedings under the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968, that began in the second half of 2019, were stalled after the Covid pandemic broke out.
On Tuesday, the EC heard NCP, TMC and CPI on why their ‘national party’ status shouldn’t be taken away for having failed to fulfil the criteria for keeping recognition. The day before, EC had heard six state parties — Bharat Rashtra Samithi, Rashtriya Lok Dal, People’s Democratic Alliance, Mizoram People’s Conference, Pattali Makkal Katchi and Revolutionary Socialist Party — on why they shouldn’t be derecognised for failing to meet the conditions laid down in Symbols Order for ‘state party’ status. The nine parties were served notices in July 2019.
The Symbols Order does not make it mandatory for EC to hold in-person hearings while reviewing the classification of a party. EC decided to hear the parties “to uphold principles of natural justice”, said an officer.
The upgrade of AAP to the ‘national party’ status is also awaited, with AAP now fulfilling all the criteria.
As per Section 6B of the Symbols Order, a party is recognised as a ‘national party’ if it fulfils any of the following three conditions — if the candidates fielded by it in four or more states in the last general elections to LS or state assembly polls have secured at least 6% of valid votes polled in each of those states and in addition, it has returned at least four members to the LS; or, the party has won at least 2% of total LS seats and its candidates have been elected from not less than three states; or the party is recognised as a ‘state party’ in at least four states.
For recognition as a ‘state party’ (Section 6A), candidates fielded by it in the last general elections should have at least 6% of the valid votes polled in that state and also the party has to return at least two members to the assembly of such state; or at the last general elections, the party has secured not less than 6% vote share in that state and returned at least one member to LS; or at the last assembly poll in a state, it has won at least 3% of the total seats in the assembly or at least three seats in the assembly, whichever is more; or in the last LS polls from the state or last assembly polls, the candidates of the party have secured at least 8% of total valid votes polled in that state.

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