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Now only six ‘national parties' in India

J. Balaji

NEW DELHI: With the Election Commission taking strong action against those parties not fulfilling the minimum eligibility criteria for getting recognition as “national” or “State” parties, the number of national parties in the country has come down to six from seven. The total number of State parties is 52 and registered unrecognised parties, 1112.

Now, the six recognised national parties are the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Communist Party of India (CPI), the CPI (M), the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Nationalist Congress Party. The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), which was earlier considered a national party, will henceforth be only a recognised State level party in Bihar, Jharkhand and Manipur. Its recognition in Nagaland has been withdrawn in view of its poor performance in the 2008 Assembly election there. For getting national party status, a political party should have recognition in at least four States.

In Tamil Nadu, there will be only three State parties — the Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK), the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and the Pattali Makkal Katchi PMK — as the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam lost its recognition due to poor show in last year's Lok Sabha poll. Similarly, in Puducherry, there will be only three State parties — the DMK, the AIADMK and the Puducherry Munnetra Congress — as the PMK has been derecognised.

Though the party led by actor-politician Vijayakant in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK), has been in the political arena for quite some time now, it is still considered only as a registered unrecognised party.

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.

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