Will the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which has announced its list of candidates for most of the Assembly and Parliamentary seats in Odisha, fight without its “broom” symbol?
The list of preferential symbols allotted to registered unrecognised parties by the Election Commission of India (ECI) for the State has not included AAP yet.
As per norms, unrecognised parties have to seek symbols from ECI by pinpointing the number of seats - Assembly as well as Parliamentary - they want to fight from in the States. The Commission considers the application and sends the approved ones to the State CEOs. The list sent to Odisha has AAP missing.
Contacted, State CEO Mona Sharma said, “We have, so far, received 20 preferential symbols from the ECI office and AAP does not figure in the list as yet.”
The Aam Aadmi Party, however, said it has got the symbol for the State and confirmation from the ECI may reach the CEO office anytime. “We had applied for it and the confirmation will reach the CEO office by Thursday,” State Convenor Nishikanta Mohapatra told this paper.
Interestingly, allocation of symbols, which play a major role for identification of the political parties by the electors, requires a structured method and unrecognised parties have to closely monitor the process to secure the symbol of their choice.
While the national as well as State registered recognised parties already have their symbols allocated basing on a number of criteria which include vote share, presence and elected members, it is the registered unrecognised parties like AAP which have to be careful as they scamper to catch the voters attention and leave a lasting impression, at least till the D-Day.
There is a pool of 87 free symbols which are available for the unrecognised parties to choose from. Parties which seek preferetial allocation have to apply to the ECI at least five days before filing of the nomination papers.
The rest can get it during the nomination process and the Returning Officer allocates the symbol. One symbol may go to different parties in different constituencies.
“We have asked the election officers as well as ROs to elaborate the process to the parties so that they face no difficulty in securing the symbols of their choice. An advisory has been issued to each district in this regard,” Sharma informed.
In Odisha, where there are 27 political parties with symbols, six are national recognised and one is State recognised party.
The list of unrecognised parties that has reached the CEO office includes Pot (Ama Odisha Party), Kite (Odisha Jan Morcha), Scissor (Samata Kranti Dal), Candle (Koshal Mukti Morcha), Flute (Biju Swabhiman Dal), Flag with Three stars (CPI-ML Liberation), Saw (CPI-ML Red Star) and Battery Torch (Samrudha Odisha).