Allocation of symbols to political parties

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Source-This post on Allocation of symbols to political parties is based on the article “How are symbols allotted to political parties?” published in “The Hindu” on 5th April 2024.

Why in the News?

This article discusses the allocation of symbols to political parties.

What do the rules specify?

Allocation of symbols
Source- The Hindu

1. Responsible authority- The allocation of symbols in elections falls under the jurisdiction of the Election Commission of India (ECI).

2. Law governed symbol allotment– This process is governed by The Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968, which aims to define, reserve, and assign symbols for recognized political parties.

3. Symbols Classification– Symbols are classified as either reserved (reserved solely for recognized parties) or ‘free‘ (accessible to unacknowledged registered parties).

4. Gazette publication– The Election Commission publishes lists of parties along with their symbols in the Gazette of India.

5. Recognised Political party symbol allotmentExclusive symbols are allocated to recognized national and state parties.

6- Unrecognized registered parties symbol allotment– Candidates from unrecognized registered parties can select from free and non-exclusive symbols.

Note- Rule 10B of the Symbols Order states that a ‘registered unrecognized party’ can use a common free symbol for two general elections.

Are political parties allowed to express their preferences?

1. The 1968 order gives the Election Commission power to handle symbol selection and allocation for parliamentary and assembly elections, aiming to recognize political parties.

2. Unregistered parties need to provide ten preferred symbols from the commission’s list. They can also propose three new symbols with designs and names for consideration by the Commission.

3. These new symbols must meet certain criteria, avoiding similarity to existing symbols and steering clear of religious or communal connections or animal depictions.

4. If a recognized political party splits, the Election Commission decides on symbol allocation.

UPSC Syllabus- Polity and Nation 

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