Lucknow: The new parameters set by Election Commission (EC) for ‘state party’ recognitions seem to become one of the major roadblocks for several local political parties contesting from Uttar Pradesh.

By raising the cap of minimum votes from 6 percent to 8 percent of total valid votes polled in Assembly and Lok Sabha election, the EC has given a serious jolt to registered unrecognized political parties.

Earlier, any political party to get recognition as a state party would have had to secure not less than six per cent of the total valid votes polled in the last Legislative Assembly elections or Lok Sabha polls. In addition, the party must have returned at least two members to the Legislative Assembly in case of Assembly polls or at least one Member in Parliament from the state in case of Lok Sabha elections.

In the 1996 UP Assembly election, the SP and the BSP gained recognition as local party. In 2002 legislative election only the SP emerged as state party while BSP was entitled as national party. Even the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) got state party recognition with its 14 legislators who marked victory in the elections.  Interestingly, it got only 2.47 percent votes of the total valid votes polled.

The RLD lost is state party status in the 2007 Assembly election. However, with the victory of five MLAs in the last Lok Sabha election, the RLD regained its lost position.

In 2007, there were only 12 state level parties, out of which the SP was the only party to get 6 percent votes.  Besides there were 112 registered local parties who were on the election battle ground.  Only the Apna Dal got 1.06 percent votes while the remaining parties were below 1 percent.

According to the BJP state unit spokesperson, Hridya Naryana Dikshit said the Election Commission had to consult political parties for improving the election process. But the EC took the decision without any discussion. Undoubtedly, this would give tough time to small political parties.