No election symbol reserved, allotted by EC will be deemed as religious or national symbol: Rijiju

Rijiju was asked whether a national symbol such as national bird, national animal or national flower can be used as an election symbol by any registered political party.
Union Minister Kiren Rijiju (Photo | PTI)
Union Minister Kiren Rijiju (Photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI: The government on Thursday told the Rajya Sabha that no election symbol reserved or allotted by the Election Commission will be deemed as a religious or national symbol.

Law Minister Kiren Rijiju was asked whether a national symbol such as national bird, national animal or national flower can be used as an election symbol by any registered political party.

In a written reply, Rijiju quoted a provision of the Representation of the People Act to explain the legal position.

"Sub-section 3 of section 123 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 states that -- The following shall be deemed to be corrupt practices for the purposes of this Act -- The appeal by a candidate or his agent or by any other person with the consent of a candidate or his election agent to vote or refrain from voting for any person on the ground of his religion, race, caste, community or language or the use of, or appeal to, religious symbols or the use of, or appeal to, national symbols, such as the national flag or the national emblem, for the furtherance of the prospects of the election of that candidate. Provided that no symbol allotted under this Act to a candidate shall be deemed to be a religious symbol or a national symbol for the purposes of this clause."

Rijiju also said the Election Commission has informed that election symbols are either reserved for national or state recognised political parties or allotted to unrecognised political parties under the provisions of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968.

"Accordingly, it is clear that any election symbol which is reserved/allotted by the Election Commission of India shall be deemed as not a religious or national symbol," he said.

He was also asked whether the government will consider disallowing use of national symbol as party symbol.

In his response, the minister said "no such proposal is under consideration of the government".

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