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ECI's Party Symbols Allotment



  Apr 10, 2024

Party Symbols Allotment by the Election Commission of India (ECI)



In India's democracy, election symbols are really important. They help people who can't read to still know who they're voting for. Symbols make it easy for everyone to find their favorite party or person on the ballot. This way, all voters, no matter their education, can take part in choosing their leaders. Symbols keep voting fair and help make sure that everyone's voice is heard.

How Are Symbols Allotted to Political Parties?

The Election Commission of India (ECI) allots symbols based on the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968. Recognised national or state parties are assigned permanent symbols, while registered unrecognised parties may receive a common symbol if they meet specific criteria set by the ECI for elections.

What Criteria Must a Party Meet to Be Recognised as a State Party?

A party is recognised as a state party if it meets any of the following criteria: (a) it wins one Lok Sabha seat for every 25 seats or 3% of Legislative Assembly seats, whichever is less, in that state; (b) it wins one Lok Sabha or two Assembly seats, along with 6% of the total votes polled in the state; or (c) it secures 8% of the total votes polled in the state during a general election.

What Is the Issue with the Allotment of Symbols to Registered Unrecognised Parties?

The main issue arises from the rule that a registered unrecognised party is eligible for a common symbol if it has secured at least 1% of the votes polled in the state in the previous election. Additionally, the allotment is done on a first-come, first-served basis, which can disadvantage parties that apply later, even if they have a stronger electoral presence or elected representatives.

Why Was Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) Denied a Common Symbol?

VCK was denied a common symbol by the ECI because it did not secure at least 1% of the votes polled in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election in 2021, as per the criteria outlined in Rule 10B of the Symbols Order. Despite having elected representatives, this criterion was not met, leading to their ineligibility for a common symbol.

What Can Be Done to Address These Concerns?

To address these concerns, the ECI could consider revising the criteria for allotment of common symbols to registered unrecognised parties. Suggestions include allowing parties that secure at least 1% of votes polled in a previous election or have elected representatives in the Lok Sabha or State Assembly to have the right to a common symbol of their choice. This would acknowledge their electoral performance and enhance the democratic process by ensuring fairer representation on the ballot.

How Does the Symbol Allotment Process Impact the Voting Process?

Symbols play a crucial role in the voting process, especially in a country with a significant illiterate population. They help voters identify their preferred parties or candidates easily, making the election more accessible and inclusive. The allotment of symbols, therefore, directly impacts voter recognition and can influence electoral outcomes.

Read Indian Polity by SRIRAM'S IAS  for fuller clarity.



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