AAP to Become National Party

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has scored enough votes in Gujarat in the recent elections to get the “national party” status.

What is a national party?

  • A national party is a political party having national presence, as opposed to regional party, whose presence is restricted to a specific region or a state.
  • National parties include those that are the biggest in India (BJP and Congress) as well as smaller parties that do not necessarily have a lot of national political influence (communist parties).
  • The ECI has provided technical criteria for a party to be recognized as a national party. A political party may lose or gain the status based on its fulfilment of the following criteria:
  1. The party is “recognized” in at least four states; or
  2. Its candidates polled at least 6 per cent of total valid votes in any of the four or more states in the last Lok Sabha or State Assembly elections and has at least 4 MPs in the last Lok Sabha polls; or
  3. If the party has won at least 2 per cent of the total seats in the Lok Sabha from at least 3 states.

What are the technical criteria to be recognized as a state party?

For a party to be recognized as a state party, it requires:

  1. At least 6 per cent vote share in the last Assembly election and have at least 2 MLAs; or have 6 per cent vote share in the last Lok Sabha elections from the state and at least 1 MP from that state; or
  2. At least 3 per cent of the total number of seats or three seats, whichever is higher, in the last Assembly elections; or
  3. At least 1 MP for every 25 members or any fraction allotted to the state in the Lok Sabha; or
  4. At least 8 per cent of the total valid votes in the last state assembly election or Lok Sabha election from the state.

How did AAP become a national party?

The AAP has large vote shares in Delhi and Punjab. In the Goa Assembly elections that was held in March, it received 6.77 per cent of the vote share. This means, before the Gujarat-Himachal Pradesh elections, the party fulfilled the criteria for receiving the status of state party in three states. It now requires 6 per cent of the vote in the Assembly elections in either Himachal Pradesh or Gujarat to be recognized in the fourth state, which would make it eligible for becoming a national party. While AAP received only 1 per cent of the vote in Himachal Pradesh, it received almost 13 per cent of the vote shares in Gujarat – more than double the requirement to be recognized as a state party there. That makes it four states.

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