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Creating a symbolic identity

delhi Updated: Apr 04, 2012 02:23 IST

For many independent candidates contesting the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections, their symbols have become an important way to connect with people.

To ensure that people remember and identify them easily while voting, candidates are carrying around their allotted poll symbols while campaigning.

Prabha Singh, 44, who is the sitting councillor from New Ashok Nagar is contesting as an independent candidate after being denied a ticket by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Singh chose a sewing machine as her symbol as she felt that it would help those who use it to earn a living, connect with her.

These days, she is seen carrying a sewing machine in a cycle rickshaw whenever she goes out to campaign in east Delhi.

“People usually remember the symbols of big political parties, so those candidates don’t need to remind the voters about them. As an independent candidate, however, it becomes vital for us to make sure that people know our symbols,” she said.

Another independent candidate Rajesh Sehgal, 45, who is contesting from Mayur Vihar phase II has been allotted a bat as his election symbol. Sehgal carries the symbol whenever he goes out campaigning door-to-door, to ensure that residents don’t forget him when casting their votes.

“I wanted a symbol with a people connect. In India, cricket is watched and played by all. This is why I chose a bat as my election symbol. Along with others, I hope this will earn me the support of cricket lovers,” said Sehgal.

Four candidate of the Loksatta Party have been allotted a whistle as their election symbol. “As ours is a new party in Delhi, we were allotted a symbol by the State Election Commission. All our four candidates contesting from different municipal wards have been given a whistle as their symbol. To ensure that people remember it, we are making sure that all candidates carry a plastic whistle with them while campaigning,” said Anurag Kejriwal, president of Loksatta’s Delhi unit.

A list of 87 free symbols was released by the Delhi State Election Commission. Independent candidates selected these symbols which included dish antenna, batsman, television, table cauliflower and others.

For recognised parties, candidates were given the symbol of their parties — BJP has ‘lotus’, Congress has ‘hand’ and Bahujan Samaj Party has ‘elephant’ as their party symbol.