Symbol allotment ended in utter confusion in the Hills on Monday with both Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) and All India Gorkha League (AIGL) opting for the candle symbol.
Finally the AIGL managed to bag the 'candle' for Darjeeling and Kalimpong constituencies while it was allotted the 'table' symbol in Kurseong. It is the exact reverse for the GJM. While they bagged the 'table' for Darjeeling and Kalimpong, they have 'candle' for Kurseong.
This would definitely cause a lot of confusion for supporters of both parties in Kurseong.
With both AIGL and GJM falling in the "registered unrecognised" political party category, they had to choose the election symbol while filing nominations. GJM chose the candle as the first preference followed by table in all three constituencies.
"As we had not coordinated amongst ourselves, we chose the candle as the first preference in Darjeeling and Kalimpong while our candidate in Kurseong preferred the table" said Sushma Gurung from AIGL.
With the allocation of symbols on Monday, Kurseong had no problems with GJM being allotted the candle and AIGL, the table. However in Darjeeling with both parties opting for candle, a stalemate ensued.
As a mutual settlement failed with both remaining steadfast on candle symbol, the matter had to be resolved through lottery in both Darjeeling and Kalimpong.
The AIGL finally emerged victorious bagging the candle symbol in Darjeeling and Kalimpong. "We had filed our nomination before the AIGL and chose the candle. The AIGL filed nominations later but chose the candle to create confusion," said Raju Pradhan, GJM assistant secretary.
"We chose the candle, walking stick and the table in order of preference. How could we have known that the GJM had also chosen candle as its first preference?" said Gurung.
The GNLF having filed candidates in Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong has managed to stay out of any controversy. They chose and were allotted the kite symbol in all three constituencies.