The Election Commission on Wednesday said it is looking into the issue of national status to the Aam Aadmi Party. “It is under review... We will soon come back to you,” Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar said while responding to a query at a Press conference. Election Commissioners Anup Chandra Pandey and Arun Goel were also present. Meanwhile, the AAP has demanded that the EC recognise it as a national party “immediately” and ensure it gets all the “facilities” during the Karnataka Assembly polls that a national party is entitled to.
The EC’s announcement comes days after a Punjab and Haryana High Court advocate urged the top poll body to grant AAP ‘national party’ status. “The Election Commission announced the schedule for Karnataka elections today but we have a grievance with it,” AAP Rajya Sabha MP and national spokesperson Sanjay Singh said at a press conference.
He lamented that the poll panel has not yet taken any decision on the matter even after the AAP fulfilled the conditions required to be declared a national party with its performance in Punjab, Gujarat and Goa polls last year.
“Election Commission has not officially given national party status to AAP despite the party ruling Delhi and Punjab and has two MLAs with over 6 per cent vote share in Goa. The party also has five MLAs in Gujarat where it secured about 14 per cent vote share in the assembly polls last year,” Singh said.
AAP became eligible for ‘national party’ status last year after securing nearly 13 per cent of the votes in the Gujarat election. To earn a national party status, a political outfit needs to be recognised as state party in four states and have at least two members in the respective legislative assemblies, according to the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) order,1968.
And in order become eligible to be recognised as the state party, a political outfit has to win two seats and secures a minimum six per cent votes in the state. There are other criteria also to earn the national party status.
The AAP has been recognised as a state party Delhi, Punjab, Goa and Gujarat. The AAP stormed to power in Punjab winning 92 of the 117 assembly seats, recording a stupendous victory in the state assembly polls last year. It was anyway already recognised as a state party in the state.
In Goa, it bagged two seats and secured an overall vote share of 6.77 per cent, leading to its recognition as a state party in the coastal state. By the end of the 2022, the AAP’s national ambition got wings as it won five seats and secured an overall vote share of 13 percent in the Gujarat assembly polls, which was enough for the AAP to be recognised as the state party.