The Election Commission of India (EC) on Friday accorded national party status to the All India Trinamool Congress (TMC), making it the seventh party that can contest Lok Sabha and assembly polls across the country on its own symbol.
The Election Commission of India agreed to recognise the Trinamool Congress as a national party since it fulfilled one of the three conditions laid down in the Symbols Order, 1968.
According to the criteria set by the apex poll panel, a “national party” needs to win at least two percent of the total seats in the Lok Sabha (11 seats) from at least three different states, or get at least six percent votes in four states in addition to four Lok Sabha seats, or be recognised as a “state party” in four or more states.
The Trinamool Congress has met the last condition. It is a state party in West Bengal, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. At present, the Congress, BJP, BSP, NCP, CPI and CPM are recognised as national parties.
The TMC, led by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, is the latest entrant to this club. This means the party will now be entitled to exclusive allotment of its reserved symbol — flower and grass — to fight Assembly and Lok Sabha elections anywhere in the country.