AC, laptop,capsicum: Haryana, Maharashtra polls candidates can choose from 197 symbols
From a steaming bowl of noodles to the unassuming capsicum, there is a long list of symbols to choose from for candidates who want to try their luck at the hustings, for the forthcoming assembly polls in Haryana and Maharashtra.
Elections to the two state assemblies will be held on October 21 and results will be announced on October 24.
Ahead of polls, the election commission puts out a list of free election symbols that candidates - other than those who contest on a party ticket - can pick from.
All recognised, registered parties have symbols reserved for them, even registered unrecognised parties have symbols allocated to them; but candidates fighting independently have to submit a choice of three symbols from the long list of free symbols, out of which the poll panel picks one for them.
Over the years, the list has had a healthy mix of the old and the new to catch the voters’ eye.
For instance, the latest list of 197 free symbols has the old fashioned chakki or a hand-grinder competing with gadgets such as air conditioner, vacuum cleaner and a laptop. Symbols that are easy to recall such as a matchbox or a mike are also included in the list.
As per the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968, the Election Commission allots symbols to contestants.
The Commission allows recognised political parties to reserve a symbol. For instance the Congress is the only party that can use the symbol of the Hand and the Bharatiya Janata Party the use of Lotus. No other parties can use these symbols.
Parties recognised in a particular state can reserve their symbol for use in another State, provided it is not allocated to a party. Two or more recognised political parties can have the same symbol provided they are not contesting in the same state.
Recently, the poll panel allocated the symbol of chappals to the Janshakti Party (Rashtriya) for elections in Delhi; while the Aihra National Party got a chappati roller as its symbol for Delhi and a battery torch for polls in Jharkhand.