ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Power to Allot Symbols

In a country of widespread illiteracy election symbols used by political parties and candidates are vitally important to the people's democratic right to choose their representatives. This article details the Election Commission's power to allot symbols.

The Election Commission (EC) has in the last week of June 2000 decided to de-recognise seven regional parties in some states based on their poll performance. The political parties to be de-recognised are the Haryana Vikas Party, the NTR-TDP (Lakshmi Parvathi), the Rashtriya Janata Dal in Manipur, the Shiv Sena in Dadra, Nagar and Haveli, the United Minority Party in Assam, the Samajwadi Janata Party in Chandigarh and the Samata Party in Haryana. The commission draws its power in this regard from the symbols order, which states that to retain recognition, a political party should have secured 6 per cent of the total valid votes polled in a state, or one seat in every 30 in the state assembly or one seat in every 25 Lok Sabha seats.

The commission has in recent times been increasingly involved in settling issues relating to splits and mergers of various political parties, with fragmentations and realignments of political parties becoming an event which has gained considerable tempo over the years.

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