‘National party’ status of NCP, TMC & CPI stays
New Delhi: Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) will be able to contest the Maharashtra assembly elections, likely to be announced soon along with polls in Haryana and Jharkhand, as a ‘national party’. Sources said the Election Commission, which heard NCP, TMC and CPI last week on why their status as national party should not be withdrawn based on their performance in the recent general elections, is likely to continue further hearing in the case only after the upcoming state polls.
This also means that TMC and CPI, facing the prospect of losing their national party status as they no longer fulfil the criteria for national recognition, shall also get a breather. “While EC granted a personal hearing to representatives of the three parties, there are some loose ends, requiring further hearing. The date for the same has not been decided,” said a commission functionary. However, TOI has learnt from EC sources that with polls to Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Haryana expected to be declared any day now, the commission may opt for status quo until the elections are over.
“Any further hearing in the matter may be taken up only after the assembly elections,” said an official.
For NCP, retention of ‘national party’ status during Maharashtra polls means it can set up 40 star campaigners. The expenditure incurred on travel, including by air, and other expenses of star campaigners is borne by the party and not included in the election expenditure of the candidate.
National parties also get a time slot on state-owned electronic media for campaigning.
Full report on www.toi.in