ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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What Makes a Party a National Party?

To be deemed national, a party has to demonstrate an ability to transcend regional particularities. In introducing the transcendence requirement, the Election Commission appears to propose implicitly, that though in theory all inhabitants of the territory of India are citizens, in practice, their natural-born citizenship is only confirmed by a rite of transcendence.

The web version of this article corrects a few errors that appeared in the print edition.

Two parties from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana—the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM)—are vying for national party status. The TDP had strongly opposed the demand for a separate Telangana state until the very end but reconciled itself to the inevitable situation and also discerned an unexpected opportunity in the new situation. With a presence in two states, the TDP began to leaf through the rule book on national party status to see what else it needs to qualify. 

Ahead of the party conference, Mahanadu 2015, according to one report in Andhra Jyothi, the TDP was proceeding cautiously on this front but decided to take a final decision only after a thorough study. For the present, a party central committee has been set up with members from the two state committees (Telangana and Andhra Pradesh).

In the [erstwhile] united Andhra Pradesh the TDP was registered as a regional party. After the bifurcation, it was registered in both the states. Further, having decided to expand its base to neighbouring states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, the Andamans, etc, the party had even launched membership drives. (Andhra Jyothi, 27 May 2015)

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