NPP gains national party status

It is a matter of pride for the North Eastern Region that the National Peoples’ Party (NPP) founded by Late PA Sangma in 2013 when he decided to contest the Presidential elections has now been granted the status of a national party. Ever since its formation the NPP had stated upfront that it would be an ally of the BJP.  The NPP is the first party from the North Eastern Region to be given this status after it had fulfilled the criterion as laid down in Para 6(B) (iii) of the Representation of Peoples’ Act. A political party becomes eligible to be recognised as a national party if it has won 2 per cent of seats in Lok Sabha from at least three different states in the latest general election; or in a Lok Sabha or Assembly election it has polled 6 per cent of the total valid votes in at least four states, in addition to winning four Lok Sabha seats; or if it has been recognised as a state party in at least four states.

The NPP, recognized in four states of the region is allotted the ‘Book’ symbol which it had chosen at the time of launching the Party. Party President and Meghalaya Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma has reasons to feel elated. He has worked very hard to take the Party to Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram and even distant Rajasthan. Recently the Party put up 5 Lok Sabha candidates in Assam, although they failed to win any seat there. The NPP won only the Tura seat from Meghalaya. But that is no setback for the Party.

There are many reasons why political parties want recognition as a national party. Firstly, it ensures that the election symbol of that party can’t be used by any other political party in polls across India. A recognized ‘National’ party requires only one proposer to file nomination. Then it can have up to 40 star campaigners while others can have only up to 20 star campaigners. The expenditure incurred on travelling and other expenses of star campaigners is not included in the election expenditure of the party candidate. Perhaps what provides the cutting edge to a ‘National’ party is that it gets the time slot on national and state television and radio to address the people and convey their message to the voting public.

However, this last clause is why all political parties want the ‘National’ tag. The party receives land or building from the government to establish its party office. This saves a lot of expenses on rentals etc. Every party wants to save expenses on infrastructure. It wants to spend every penny on wooing voters.

 Henceforth the NPP is expected to play a leading role in establishing a strong presence for the region in the national capital.

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