NPP gets national party status

SHILLONG, Jun 7: The ruling National People’s Party (NPP), which is in an alliance with the BJP in Meghalaya, was on Friday granted recognition as a national party by the Election Commission of India (ECI).
The NPP becomes the first party from the Northeast to get the national party status. It is a recognized party in four states of the region.
“The party has fulfilled the eligibility condition for being a recognized as a national party as laid down in paragraph 6B (iii) (the party is recognized as state party in at least four states),” ECI Secretary Pramod Kumar Sharma said in an order issued on Friday.
As per the party’s request, the symbol ‘book’ has been allotted to it, Kumar said.
NPP chief and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma took to Twitter to announce the news.
“It is a very nostalgic moment for all of us that the party founded by late Purno Agitok Sangma has achieved its due recognition. It is not just an achievement for the NPP but for the people of #Northeast for their overwhelming support and trust bestowed on the party,” he added.
Although the NPP had its base in Manipur, former Lok Sabha speaker Purno Agitok Sangma expanded it when he took over in January 2013.
The NPP is leading a BJP-backed government in Meghalaya, and supporting the ruling BJP in Manipur. It is also a part of the ruling NDA at the Centre.
The NPP won five seats in the recently held Arunachal Pradesh legislative assembly election, and has one MP in the Lok Sabha. Agatha Sangma, sister of the CM, won from the Tura Lok Sabha seat in Meghalaya.
A notification issued by the ECI on 15 March lists seven national parties in India. The All India Trinamool Congress, the BJP, the BSP, the CPI, the CPI (M), the INC and the NCP figured in that list.
According to the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968, a political party can be recognized as a national party if its candidates secure at least six percent of votes polled in four or more states in the Lok Sabha or assembly elections, and, in addition, it has at least four members in the Lok Sabha.
It also has to have at least two percent of the total Lok Sabha seats and its candidates come from not less than three states. Third, it is recognized as a state party in at least four states. (PTI)