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  • The Election Commission of India (ECI) had on August 22, 2016 made an amendment to the rules, according to which, it will now review the National and State Party status of political parties every 10 years instead of five years.
  • As a result, the ECI has extended the status of a National Party to Trinamool Congress.
  • All India Trinamool Congress has become the Seventh National Party of India and has joined the ranks of the Congress, the BJP, the BSP, the CPI, the CPI (M), and the NCP.
  • This happened after the party satisfied one of the conditions laid down by the poll panel.

Conditions to be a National Party:

  • To be recognized as a National Party, a number of conditions are mentioned in the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968. They are:
  • 1. A party should win 2 percent of seats in the Lok Sabha from at least three different States in the latest general election,or,
  • 2. If in the Lok Sabha or Assembly election it has polled 6 percent of the total valid votes in at least four states, in addition to winning four Lok Sabha seats,or,
  • 3. If it has been recognized as a State Party in at least four states
  • One of the conditions- having been recognized as a State Party in at least four states– has been met by the party.
  • It is a recognized State Party in West Bengal, Manipur, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh.

Benefits of the status:

  • The status of a National Party will ensure that its election symbol cannot be used by any other political body in elections across the country.
  • Other registered but unrecognized parties are supposed to choose from a list of “free symbols” announced by the poll panel time and again.
  • National Parties also get land and buildings from the government to set up their offices.
  • They become eligible to have up to 40 ‘star campaigners’ during the election campaigns while others can have only up to 20 of them. .

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