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Opinion

HC seeks EC response on plea to remove BJP election symbol

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PRAYAGRAJ

The Allahabad High Court has ordered the Election Commission of India (ECI) to submit its response in a PIL petition on the alleged misuse of election symbols by political parties as logos and to freeze / remove the lotus , the country’s national flower and visible on various government websites, as a symbol of the BJP survey.

A court composed of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Judge Piyush Agrawal approved the order in a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed by Kali Shankar of Gorakhpur. The court has set January 12 as the next hearing date in the case.

On behalf of the petitioner, defenders Gulab Chandra Tiwari and Kapil Tiwari said: “The lotus is displayed as a national flower and is also visible on various government websites. Therefore, no political party can be allowed to use it as their symbol, as it will influence the minds of the voters and the political party will gain an undue advantage. “

According to the petitioner’s attorney, the life of the electoral symbols is only for a specific election and a political party cannot use the symbol as its logo. According to the petitioner, if political parties were allowed to use electoral symbols in perpetuity, for purposes other than elections, it would be highly unfair to candidates not affiliated with recognized parties or independent candidates, as they obtained new symbols before each choice.

The petitioner’s request was that in most democratic countries, the concept of electoral symbols had already been withdrawn upon reaching higher levels of literacy, but in our democratic configuration, the government did not intend to withdraw electoral symbols and go to elections by showing the names of the candidates in the corresponding script.

Under the Representation of Persons Act, as well as the Electoral Symbols (Reservation and Assignment) Order of 1968 (Order of 1968), the concept of electoral symbols applies only for the purposes of elections and such symbols cannot be used as a logo political party, the petition said.

The lawyer who appeared before the ECI asked for some time to examine the matter and present a response.

The court ordered the petitioner’s attorney to implement other national political parties as a defendant in the petition. The petition has raised several important issues related to the ICE assigning electoral symbols to candidates in accordance with the People’s Representation Act of 1951.

On April 4, 2019, the ECI rejected a request from the petitioner seeking to freeze / withdraw the lotus as an electoral symbol of the BJP. Subsequently, the petitioner filed the PIL petition in the higher court seeking to annul the rejection order and instructions to the ECI to issue new guidelines for the use of political symbols.

Reference site

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