The Election Commission of India (ECI) is likely to grant “national party” status to the National People’s Party (NPP).
According to sources in the Election Commission, the NPP has fulfilled the required criteria to qualify as a “national party” after winning five seats in the recently held Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly.
The ECI notification on granting “national party” status to NPP is likely to be announced this week. The NPP had applied for the “national party” status, the sources said. It will be the first political party from northeast to get the status.
The NPP, which is a partner in the ruling NDA in Centre, was founded by former Lok Sabha speaker Purno Agitok Sangma in January 2013.
The veteran Garo leader and the tallest parliamentarian from northeast had floated the party after his expulsion from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
Immediately after its birth, the NPP had contested the assembly election in Rajasthan in December 2013, under the leadership of Kirodi Lal Meena, and had won four seats.
In addition to winning five seats in Arunachal Pradesh, the NPP is the single largest political party in Meghalaya, and has 21 members in the 60-member house. The party president, Conrad K. Sangma is the chief minister of the state.
The NPP has four MLAs in Manipur, and Y. Joykumar Singh is the deputy Chief Minister of the state. The party is also recognized as a “state party” in Nagaland.
As per the Election Commission of India’s criteria, a party is eligible to get the “national party” status if it is recognized as “state party” in at least four states.
At present, there are seven “national parties” in India. The Trinamool Congress, which is led by Mamata Banerjee is the seventh party in India to get the “national party” status in September 2016.
Recognition as a “national party” ensures that the election symbol of that party is not used by any other political entity across India. Book is the election symbol of NPP.
Besides, the “national parties” are allocated land or buildings from the government to set up their party offices in New Delhi.