Karnataka HC directs CEC to pass order on national party status for AAP by April 13

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BENGALURU: The Karnataka High Court has passed directions to Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar to pass an order before April 13 regarding the national party status of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Responding to the directive of the court, the CEC’s representative on Thursday confirmed that it will be done on April 11.

This comes after the AAP approached the Karnataka High Court pertaining to the “delay” in the party being granted the status of a ‘national party’. The petition was filed in the Karnataka HC by Prithvi Reddy, the convener of the Karnataka unit of AAP.

The party stated in the petition that it fulfills all the conditions required to be designated as a national party, but despite that, there has been a delay in the party being granted the status. The AAP also cited Clause 6B of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968, regarding the condition for recognition as a national party.

Under the first condition, “The candidates set up by the party, in any four or more states, at the last general election to the House of the People, or to the Legislative Assembly of the state concerned, have secured not less than 6 per cent of the total valid votes polled in each of those states at that general election; and, in addition, it has returned at least four members to the House of the People at the aforesaid last general election from any state or states”.

Under the second condition, “At the last general election to the House of the People, the party has won at least 2 per cent of the total number of seats in the House of the People, any fraction exceeding half being counted as one; and the party’s candidates have been elected to that House from not less than three states”.

And, under the third condition, “The party is recognized as state party in at least four states”. Notably, a party needs to fulfill any one of the above said conditions, and AAP fulfills the third condition, it said.

“The petitioner submits that even after giving a representation to Respondent No.1, the same has not been considered till today even after the reminder has been given on February 6, 2023. Whereas, as per the data available from the website of the Election Commission of India. Aam Aadmi Party has a status of a state party in the state of NCT-Delhi, Punjab and the states of Goa and Gujarat”, the petition stated.

The Election Commission had more than three months to resolve the issue. Yet, it has chosen not to take a decision earlier. Under the circumstances, the petitioner is constrained to seek relief from the court, the petition stated.

AAP also added in the petition that it is contesting the Karnataka Assembly elections on all 224 seats, and getting recognition as a national party will be helpful for the party. The 224 Assembly seats in Karnataka will to to polls on May 10 and the counting of the votes will be done on May 13. (ANI)

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