India has a multi-party system with recognition accorded to national,state and district level parties. The status is reviewed periodically by the Election Commission of India.
Other political parties that wish to contest local, state or national elections are required to be registered by the Election Commission of India (ECI). Registered parties are upgraded as recognized national or state level parties based upon objective criteria.
A recognized party enjoys privileges like a reserved party symbol,free broadcast time on state run television and radio, a consultation in setting of election dates and giving input in setting electoral rules and regulations.
As per latest publication from Election Commission of India, the total number of parties registered was 1841, with 7 national parties, 52 state parties and 1785 unrecognised parties.
A registered party is recognised as a national party only if it fulfils any one of the following three conditions:
1 . A party wins 2% of seats in the Lok sabha from at least three different states.
2 . At a general election to Lok Sabha or Legislative Assembly, the party polls 6% of votes in any four or more states and in addition it wins four Lok Sabha seats.
3 . A party gets recognition as a state party in four states.
7 recognised national parties
1 . All India Trinamool Congress
2 . Bahujan Samaj Party
3 . Bharatiya Janata Party
4 . Communist Party of India (Marxist)
5 . Indian National Congress
6 . Nationalist Congress Party
7 . National People’s Party (India)
A party has to fulfill any of the following conditions for recognition as a state party:
1 . A party should win minimum three percent of the total number of seats or a minimum of three seats in the Legislative Assembly.
2 . A party should win at least one seat in the Lok Sabha for every 25 seats or any fraction thereof allotted to that State.
3 . A party should secure at least six percent of the total valid votes polled during general election to a Lok Sabha or State Legislative Assembly and should, in addition, win at least one Lok Sabha, and two Legislative Assembly seats in that election.
Under the liberalized criteria, one more clause that it will be eligible for recognition as state party if it secures 8% or more of the total valid votes polled in the state, addition to one seat in any state.