How party symbols are decided by Election Commission?
- Former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh's new political organisation, the Punjab Lok Congress, has received the hockey stick and ball as its symbol.
Guidelines to get a symbol allotted
- When filing nomination papers, a party or candidate must furnish a list of three symbols from the EC's free symbols list.
- One symbol is assigned to each party or candidate on a first-come, first-served basis.
- When a recognised political party splits, the Election Commission decides on the symbol to be assigned.
Powers of Election Commission
- The EC has the authority to recognise political parties and allot emblems under the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968.
- It has the authority to resolve disputes between rival groups or portions of a recognised political party claiming the party's name and emblem under paragraph 15 of the Order.
- The EC is also the sole authority with which to resolve disputes or mergers. In Sadiq Ali and others versus ECI in 1971, the Supreme Court upheld its validity.
Types of symbol
- The Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) (Amendment) Order of 2017 specifies that party symbols must be one of the following:
- Reserved: Across the country, ""reserved"" symbols are used by eight national parties and 64 state parties.
- Free: The Election Commission also has a pool of roughly 200 ""free"" symbols that it distributes to the thousands of unregistered regional parties that spring up in the run-up to elections."