New Delhi: In what may be a major reprieve for the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Communist Party of India (CPI), the Election Commission (EC) today amended rules, whereby it will now review the national and state party status of political parties every ten years instead of the present five.
The BSP, the CPI and the NCP were facing the prospects of losing their national party status after their dismal performance in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The EC had served them notices in 2014 on the issue.
A notification said that while the criteria of being recognised as a national and state party will remain unchanged, the review of the status will take place every two consecutive Lok Sabha or assembly elections instead of one.
The commission has amended paragraph 6C of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968 to affect the change. It was last amended in 2011.
This change in rules will ensure that ruling parties do not lose their status due to anti-incumbency factor after every election.
At present, the BSP, the BJP, the Congress, the NCP, the CPI and the CPI-M are the six recognised political parties. Besides these, there are 64 recognised state parties in India.