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Business News/ Politics / News/  Will CPI M lose national status, famous party symbol after Lok Sabha Elections 2024? Kerala leader AK Balan says...
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Will CPI M lose national status, famous party symbol after Lok Sabha Elections 2024? Kerala leader AK Balan says...

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: AK Balan, a CPI(M) central committee member and former Kerala minister, cautioned recently, “It is time to make sincere efforts to protect the party symbol.” Will the CPI(M) lose its national status and famous party symbol after the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections?

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: The famous hammer, sickle and star symbol of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)Premium
Lok Sabha Elections 2024: The famous hammer, sickle and star symbol of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)

A Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader reportedly warned this week that the party risks losing its famous Hammer, Sickle and Star symbol if it doesn't perform well in the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections.

AK Balan, a CPI(M) central committee member and former Kerala minister was quoted by News Minute as saying, "It is time to make sincere efforts to protect the party symbol."

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“Otherwise, the party will be forced to fight the elections on symbols like the octopus or pangolin in future," he was quoted as saying while urging the supporters to work hard.

He reportedly said that if the CPI(M) “fails to secure a certain percentage of votes and win seats in the upcoming Lok Sabha election", it will lose its national party status and even risk losing its election symbol.

ALSO READ: Lok Sabha Elections 2024 date announcement: Kerala, TN, Kerala, Karnataka to vote in 7 phases. Details here

“The problem of losing the national status is that then the famed symbol of the CPM cannot be used, and then we will be at the mercy of the Election Commission who will allot a symbol," Balan was quoted by Mathrubhumi as saying.

AK Balan was speaking at the inauguration of the Kerala State Financial Enterprises Officers Union (KSFEOU) leadership workshop in Kozhikode, Kerala.

How can a political party lose its national status?

A political party is considered a national party only if any of the following conditions are fulfilled:

1. The candidates set up by the party in any four or more States in the last general elections to the Lok Sabha or to a state assembly must have secured not less than 6 per cent of the total valid votes polled in each of those States. The party must return at least four members to the House of the People in the general elections from any state of states.

ALSO READ: Ahead of 2024 polls, TMC, NCP, CPI lose national party status; here's what it means

2. In the last general elections to the Lok Sabha, the party must have won at least 2 per cent of the total number of seats in the Lok Sabha, with any fraction exceeding half being counted as one. Additionally, the party's candidates must have been elected to that House from not less than three States.

3. The party is recognised as a state party in at least four states.

CPIM's representation in Lok Sabha

The CPI(M) has only three members in the Lok Sabha — two from Tamil Nadu and one from Kerala. The party secured 1.77 per cent of votes polled in the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections.

In Kerala alone, in the 2019 general polls, the vote share of CPI(M) was 25.97, while that in Tamil Nadu was 2.38 per cent. This implies that the party's only hope this time is Kerala.

The CPI(M)'s performance in Lok Sabha Elections has degraded since 2009. In 2004, it won 43 seats; in 2009, it won 16. Then, in the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections, the party won nine seats, securing 3.28 per cent votes. In 2019, it won only three seats.

CPIM's representation in state assemblies

The CPI(M) is currently in power in Kerala. In the 2021 Kerala Assembly elections, the party won 62 of the 140 assembly seats. However, it fell short of the eight seats needed to reach the majority mark. The party had the highest vote share, at 47 per cent.

The party faced a major backlash when it did not win a single seat in the 2021 West Bengal election. In the 2016 state elections, it had won 26 seats in the 294-member assembly.

The CPI(M) was also part of the Mahagadhbandhan in Bihar. Two CPI(M) MLAs were in the coalition led by the Janata Dal (United) (JDU) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). However, Nitish Kumar snapped ties with the RJD and formed a new government in the state in January this year.

The Left party also won one seat in the 2021 Assam elections and two seats in the 2021 Tamil Nadu elections. The CPI(M) is an ally of the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in Tamil Nadu.

In Tripura 2023 assembly polls, the CPI(M) won 11 seats — the third highest after the BJP and the TMP.

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Published: 27 Mar 2024, 08:59 AM IST
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