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BSP risks losing national party status after rout in Lok Sabha polls

With no elected MP in Lok Sabha and its vote share this general election down to 2.04%, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the only national-level Dalit party in the country, could lose its national status once the Election Commission carries out its customary review post general elections, The Indian Express has learned.

Founded in April 1984 by Kanshi Ram who later named Mayawati as his successor, BSP was recognised as a national party in 1997. It experienced a consistent rise in its electoral performance since its inception before seeing a decline after the 2012 UP Assembly elections.

Currently, there are six political parties recognised as national parties by the poll watchdog – BJP, BSP, Congress, AAP, National People’s Party, and CPM.

According to the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968, a national party is one that has at least 6% of the total valid votes in four or more states in the last general election and at least four MPs; or wins at least 2% of the seats in the Lok Sabha, with the winners being from at least three states; or is a recognised state party in at least four states.

With the party failing to win any seat in the 18th Lok Sabha and getting only 2.04% of the total votes, as per the results available on the ECI website, it fails the first two criteria for retaining its national party status. The final results and statistics for the 2024 elections are yet to be published.

For the third criterion, the party has to meet the conditions for being a recognised state party in four or more states, which it also does not meet as of now. In all state Assembly elections held between 2019 and now, the BSP meets the criteria for being a state party only in Uttar Pradesh, where it won 12.88% votes in

Read more on indianexpress.com