SHILLONG, June 7 - The National People�s Party (NPP) has been recognised by the Election Commission of India (ECI) as the eighth national party of the country today after performing well in the recent Arunachal Assembly elections.
NPP has now joined the Bharatiya Janata Party, Indian National Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party, Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist), All India Trinamool Congress and Nationalist Congress Party in the list of national parties.
The ECI�s recognition followed after the NPP secured 14.77 per cent of the total votes polled in Arunachal Pradesh Assembly election and sent five MLAs to the 60 member Assembly.
With this performance the NPP has qualified to be recognised as a State party in four States � a prerequisite for being recognised as a national party. NPP is already a recognised State party in the States of Meghalaya, Manipur and Nagaland.
�After its recognition as a State party in Arunachal Pradesh, it has become a recognised State party in four States. Thus, the party has fulfilled the eligibility condition for being recognised as national party as laid down in paragraph 6B (iii)�, the EC said in its order.
Elated by the decision, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, also the party president, termed the development as �a befitting tribute to late PA Sangma� who formed the party.
�It�s a very nostalgic moment for all of us that the party founded by Late Purno Agitok Sangma has received its due recognition. It is not just an achievement for NPP, but for the people of North East for their overwhelming support and trust bestowed on the party,� the Chief Minister said.
The NPP was founded by late PA Sangma in January 2013. It was formed as a party to give voice to the tribals of the country, especially those in the North East. The party even had three MLAs in Rajasthan Assembly earlier.
The NPP fought the recent Assembly elections in Arunachal Pradesh on its own. Its maiden victory at the Assembly polls there was also marked by tragedy after one of its candidates, Tirong Aboh, his son and nine others were gunned down by militants.
Aboh won the Khonsa West seat posthumously. �The recognition of NPP as national party will surely motivate each member of the family of NPP and will further enable us to work for the greater cause of the region and its people,� the NPP president said.
Meanwhile, the EC in its order also stated: �as per the request of the party the symbol �Book� has been allotted as the reserved symbol for the NPP.�