New Delhi: Giving relaxation to the unrecognised political parties, the Election Commission (EC) has eased the norms of granting ‘Regional Party’ status. As per the new rules, parties without winning any Lok Sabha or Assembly seat can be recognised as regional party only if they get eight percent of the total valid votes.

Until now, the status of regional party was granted to those political parties which secured a minimum of six per cent of the total valid votes polled in a state in addition to winning at least two seats in that Assembly.

The EC gave its decision on the allotment of common symbol. The registered unrecognised parties will be free to allot a common symbol to their contestants of Vidhan Sabha and Lok Sabha elections.

Generally, the election symbol posed problem as the contestants of these parties were allotted symbols later. If the candidates of the two political parties opt for the same symbol, lottery method is adopted to take the decision.

With the introduction of new norms, the two contestants can get the same symbol. It will be mandatory for the respective political parties to introduce their contestants for at least 10 percent seats. The parties will be required to submit their 10 symbols to the EC.