Election Symbol

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The Election Commission has barred both the groups led by former Maharastra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and State Chief Minster Eknath Shinde from using the party name Shiv Sena in the upcoming Andheri East Bye-elections and till the final determination of the dispute in the matter.


  • As per the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968, the Election Commission allots symbols for anyone contesting in polls. 
  • A person contesting on behalf of a recognised political party will inherit the party's symbol. 
  • An independent candidate or someone contesting on behalf of an unrecognised political party has to approach the Commission and get a symbol allotted from the list of 'free' symbols available. 
    • A candidate will have to provide three symbols from the free list at the time of submission of nomination papers, one of which will be allocated to him/her. 
    • Any choice other than from the EC's list will be summarily rejected. 
  • In the case of a recognised political party, the Commission allows it to 'reserve' a symbol. 
    • For example, if a political party recognised in a particular State wishes to contest in elections in another State, it can 'reserve' the symbol being used by it. 
    • The Commission will oblige, provided the symbol is not being used by anyone else. 
  • Two or more recognised political parties can have the same symbol provided they are not contenders in the same State or Union Territory. 
    • Both Federal Party of Manipur and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) use 'Rising Sun' as their symbol. 
    • But if one of the parties wish to open their account in the other State, it will have to contest on a different symbol. 


Losing the symbol? 

  • The ECI may also derecognise a political party if it has not polled at least 6 % of votes or won two seats in the State elections. In case of a national party, it should have polled minimum 6 % votes and 2 MLAs in at least four States. 
  • Until 1997, unrecognised parties would lose their symbols. Later, the EC modified its order to allow them to retain its symbol. 


Party split: 

  • In case a recognised political party splits, the Commission decides which faction can use the symbol.
  • The Commission may also choose to freeze the symbol and ask both factions to contest in fresh symbols.


Source : All India Radio