New Delhi: Congress along with other opposition parties met Election Commission (EC) on Saturday alleging that the initials of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been printed below the party symbol on the ballot papers on the EVMs.
According to the rules of the Election Commission of India, no party's name or initial is supposed to be printed on the balloting unit.
“On EVMs, the letters BJP are visible under the party's symbol. No party can use the party's name and its symbol together,” said Abhishek Manu Singhvi the national spokesperson of the Congress Party.
Congress demanded that either all machines allegedly “carrying BJP’s symbol with letters BJP” should be removed else all other parties should also be allowed to add their names on their election symbol.
“We have demanded ECI that either it should remove all machines which mention BJP clearly or all other parties' names should be added in all the machines. Till then the use of these machines should be totally stopped in the elections,” said Singhvi.
The Trinamool Congress had earlier on Friday alleged that the symbol of BJP 'lotus' on the ballot paper has broken lines appearing below its stem, smudged in such a manner that it can be easily read as “BJP”.
TMC in its complaint to the Election Commission said that use of the party initial under its symbol is a “huge conspiracy” to give the saffron party an unfair advantage in elections.
“This is highly discriminatory and unfair as party names, initials or visuals of no other party appear with the symbol in the ECI approved list of National Party Symbols as well as in the Ballot papers. We sense this as a huge conspiracy to give the BJP an unfair advantage in the election thereby destroying the sanctity of the election process. This is also seen as a biased and deliberate attempt to confuse the voters and damage the spirit of free and fair elections,” read the complaint by All India Trinamool Congress.
“…The Election Commission is a constitutional body which is duty bound to ensure free and fair elections. Only one political party should not be unjustly allowed to use its initials under its symbol, while the other parties are deprived of such an advantage,” read the complaint.
The Lok Sabha polls for the 42 seats in West Bengal are scheduled to be conducted in all the seven phases. Two seats went to polls April 11, 3 seats on April 18, 5 seats on April 18. On April 29, 8 seats will go to polls, 7 seats on May 6, 8 seats on May 12, and 9 seats on May 19. The counting of votes will be done on May 23.
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