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What the setback means for Mamata Banerjee’s party

Trinamool Congress was among the three parties that were stripped of their national party status by the Election Commission on Monday. The other two parties who lost the coveted status are the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Communist Party of India (CPI).

As of now, there are six national parties – BJP, Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), CPI(M), National People’s Party (NPP) and AAP.

The Election Commission order mentioned the parties can regain their national and state party status based on their performance in future electoral cycles as also the Lok Sabha elections due next year.

But as of now, Trinamool Congress’s status has been downgraded. This means:

  • The party’s election symbol will no longer be visible among the first few names in EVM or ballot paper as national party names feature first
  • TMC will no longer be able to use ‘All India Trinamool Congress’
  • TMC will not get assured call for meetings whenever the Election Commission calls for an all-party meeting
  • Political funding will also be affected due to withdrawal of national status, but it won’t be majorly affected.

Meanwhile, the Trinamool Congress is exploring legal options available to it to challenge the poll panel’s decision, sources told India Today.

“The party is exploring legal options to challenge this decision by ECI,” TMC sources said.


The Trinamool Congress was formed by Mamata Banerjee in 1998 after she parted ways with the Congress. The Trinamool Congress became a state party in 2014.

The party came to power in West Bengal in 2011 and subsequently expanded to Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Tripura.

In 2016, the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress received the national party status. However, the dismal performance by the party in last year’s Goa elections and some recently held Assembly polls in northeastern states has led to the national status being revoked.

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