NEW DELHI: There are 164 'free symbols' which can be used by registered political parties which are unrecognised. Interestingly, some of the symbols include necklace, a bench, a belt, a balloon and a baby walker.
EC officials said that as per the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968, symbols are either reserved or free. A reserved symbol is meant for a recognised political party for exclusive allotment to contesting candidates fielded by that party. A free symbol, on the other hand, is a symbol other than that reserved for a recognised party.
Some other symbols issued by the poll panel include interesting names like Almirah, black board, gas stove, gas cylinder, gramophone, grapes, neck tie, nail cutter, peanuts, pen nib with seven rays, matchbox, noodle bowl, pressure cooker and road roller.
Currently, BSP, BJP, CPI, CPI (M), Congress , Nationalist Congress Party and Trinamool Congress are the seven recognised political parties at the national level. There are 46 political parties recognised at the state level including RJD, AAP, JD (U) and others. These parties have their reserved symbols at the national and state level.
The Commission regularly updates its list of free symbols which parties can use to contest polls. According to the same notification, there are a total of 1837 registered, but unrecognised political parties in the country.