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Election Symbols

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    14th Oct, 2021

Context

Recently, the Election Commission of India (ECI) decided to freeze the election symbol of a Political Party.

About election symbol

  • An election symbol refers to a standardized symbol allocated to a political party.
  • They are used by the parties during their campaigning
  • They are shown on Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), where the voter chooses the symbol and votes for the associated party.
  • The concept was introduced for the voting by people, who cannot read the name of the party while casting their votes.
  • Since India held its first national polls in 1951-52, symbols have become a crucial part of the electoral process ever.

Types of Election Symbol

  • As per the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) (Amendment) Order, 2017, party symbols are either “reserved” or “free”.
    • Reserved: Eight national parties and 64 state parties across the country have “reserved” symbols
    • Free: ECI has a pool of nearly 200 “free” symbols. These symbols are allotted to the thousands of unrecognised regional parties in the country.

Who is empowered to allot election symbol?

  • The Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968 empowers the Election Commission of India (ECI) to recognize political parties and allot symbols.
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