New Delhi: The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Communist Party of India (CPI) face the prospect of losing their national party status following their performance in the Lok Sabha election, with the Election Commission (EC) issuing them a show cause notice on Thursday (July 18).

The EC has asked them to explain why their national party status should not be revoked, sources said. They have been asked to respond to the notice by August 5.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha poll, the NCP had won six seats. This time it won five. It also did not do well in the Maharashtra Assembly poll. Similarly, the Trinamool Congress, led by Mamata Banerjee, won 34 seats in 2014 Lok Sabha poll and managed 22 this time in West Bengal.

The CPI won two in this election and one in 2014. But its performance in West Bengal and other states in Assembly polls was dismal.

The CPI, the BSP and the NCP were facing the prospect of losing their national party status after their dismal performance in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections as well.

However, they got a reprieve when in 2016 the EC amended its rules, whereby national and state party status of political parties are to be reviewed every 10 years instead of five.

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which won 10 Lok Sabha seats and some Assembly seats, does not face the possibility of losing its national party status now.

According to the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968, a political party can be recognised as a national party if its candidates secure at least six per cent of votes polled in four or more states in Lok Sabha or Assembly elections, and, in addition, it has at least four members in the Lok Sabha.

It also should have at least two percent of the total Lok Sabha seats and its candidates come from not less than three states. As of now, TMC, BJP, BSP, CPI, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Indian National Congress (INC), NCP and National People's Party of Meghalaya have national party status.