What are National Parties? | List of National Parties in India

By Aarna Tiwari|Updated : June 28th, 2022

National Parties, as prescribed by the Election Commission of India (ECI) are any party that secures at least 6% of votes polled in four or more states in Lok Sabha or assembly elections. The Party should have at least 2% of the total Lok Sabha seats, and its candidates must be from not less than 3 states.

Registration of Political National parties is governed by the provisions of Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. A party seeking registration with the commission has to apply within a period of 30 days following the date of its formation as per guidelines prescribed by the EC as per Article 324 of the Commission of India and Section 29A of the RPA.

What are the National Parties in India?

To be eligible to be termed as a National Party or the National Political Party of India, a political party has to fulfil the three basic criteria overlayed by the ECI:

  • Secure at least six per cent of the valid votes polled in any four or more states, at a general election to the House of the People or, to the State Legislative Assembly.
  • Win at least four seats in the House of the People from any State or state.
  • Win at least two per cent of seats in the House of the People, and these members should be elected from at least three different States.

In India, there are eight (8) recognized National Parties: 

  1. Indian National Congress (INC)
  2. Communist Party of India (CPI)
  3. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)
  4. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP
  5. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
  6. All India Trinamool Congress (TMC)
  7. Marxist Communist Party CPI (M)

The Election Commission (EC) has amended rules, whereby it will now review the State & National Parties status every ten years instead of the present five. So now the status of present national and state parties will remain intact till 2026.

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FAQs on What are National Parties

  • As per the latest publication dated 23 September 2021 from the Election Commission of India, the total number of parties registered was 2858, with 8 national parties, 54 state parties and 2797 unrecognised parties.

  • The eight recognized National Parties in India with symbols are:

    • Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)- Lotus
    • Communist Party of India (CPI)- Ears of Corn and Sickle
    • Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)- Elephant (In all States/U.T.s except in Assam)
    • National People’s Party (NPP)- Book
    • Indian National Congress (INC)- Hand
    • Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM)- Hammer, Sickle and Star
    • Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)- Clock
    • All India Trinamool Congress (AITC)- Flowers and Grass

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