NCP (SP) chief Jayant Patil says similar poll symbol names led to defeat in Satara seat

In the Madha and Beed constituencies also, around 48,000 and 54,000 votes went respectively to candidates with the trumpet symbol, the NCP(SP) leader said.
NCP leader Jayant Patil
NCP leader Jayant Patil (Photo | PTI)

PUNE: Maharashtra NCP (SP) chief Jayant Patil has claimed a similarity between the name of his party's poll symbol and that of an independent candidate created confusion among voters, leading to the defeat of his party nominee in Satara Lok Sabha seat.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Patil said it seemed symbols with similar names were allotted to independent candidates deliberately for the division of votes and his party will raise this issue with the Election Commission of India.

The ECI had allotted "man blowing turha" (a traditional trumpet) as the poll symbol to the NCP (SP), after a split in the Nationalist Congress Party founded by Sharad Pawar.

In the Satara Lok Sabha seat, BJP's Udayanraje Bhonsle, a descendant of Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, defeated NCP(SP) candidate Shashikant Shinde by more than 32,000 votes on Tuesday.

Independent candidate from Satara seat, Sanjay Gade, having 'tutari' (trumpet) as the poll symbol, got 37,062 votes.

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Before the polls, the NCP (SP) had filed a complaint with the ECI over the symbol of a trumpet-like instrument with the name 'tutari' allotted to an independent candidate contesting from its stronghold Baramati.

In the Marathi list of candidates contesting in the Satara Lok Sabha seat, the name of the symbol allotted to the independent nominee was mentioned as 'tutari' while in the list in English, it was written as 'trumpet'.

In the Marathi list, the NCP (SP) candidate's symbol name was mentioned as 'tutari wajnavar manoos', and in the English list, it was mentioned as 'man blowing turha'.

"Our symbol was 'man blowing tutari' but at the same time, the trumpet symbol was also given to independent candidates and it was called 'tutari' in the list.

As a result, in all the constituencies where the NCP (SP) contested, a considerable number of votes went to candidates having the trumpet symbol," Patil claimed.

"In Dindori, the candidate having the trumpet symbol received more than 1 lakh votes. In Satara, our candidate got defeated by 32,000 votes and at the same time, the candidate with the trumpet symbol polled more than 37,000 votes," he pointed out.

In the Madha and Beed constituencies also, around 48,000 and 54,000 votes went respectively to candidates with the trumpet symbol, the NCP(SP) leader said.

"The similarity in the symbol name created confusion among voters. We had taken objection before the elections and raised the issue with the ECI, but it paid no heed. It seems this symbol was allotted deliberately for the division of votes," he claimed.

Patil said they will put forth their side before the ECI on the issue.

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