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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: What is election symbol and how do candidates get it? | Explained

The Election Commission is responsible for holding elections throughout the country. Lok Sabha elections will be held in seven phases. The political parties have begun announcing their candidates for the polls. They have also started giving their candidates symbols. What are election symbols?

Ashesh Mallick Edited By: Ashesh Mallick @asheshmallick07 New Delhi Published on: March 28, 2024 19:09 IST
Lok Sabha Elections 2024, Election symbols, BJP, Congress, ECI
Image Source : INDIA TV Election symbols of various Indian parties

Lok Sabha elections 2024: The political parties have headed into election mode across the country and also started declaring the names of their candidates for respective seats for the Lok Sabha elections slated to begin from April 19. All candidates who are in the fray have their own symbols besides the symbol of their respective parties. What are election symbols and how do parties get them? Let’s take a look.

Election symbols

The Election Commission of India is responsible for the smooth conduct of all elections in the country. It allots election symbol to the political party or candidate which is used during the campaigning. The election symbol is also present on the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) during the voting where the voters choose their respective party or candidate to cast vote. One reason behind allocating symbols is to ease those who cannot read. They can easily identify the party of their choice by the election symbol.

How does a candidate get the symbol?

The Election Commission of India has a number of election symbols. The political parties offer the symbols of their choice to the ECI and if it is available with the ECI, it is allotted to the parties. The Commission also has reserve symbols such as the lotus flower of the BJP or the hand of the Congress. Apart from this, the Commission also has free symbols which are given to any new party or candidate. Independent candidates get symbols from the Commission.

What does a candidate getting a party symbol mean?

When a political party fields any of its leaders in elections, he contests the elections on the same symbol which his party has received from the Election Commission. The national president of the party gives the names of his candidates to the state president, which is called Form-A. The state president of that party then gives Form-B to the candidates for filing nomination. This is what is called giving 'symbol' to the candidates.

What is the rule for giving election symbols?

Elections are mentioned in Part 15 of the Constitution of India from Article 324 to Article 329. Article 324 of the Constitution gives the responsibility of conducting elections to the Election Commission. Similarly, the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968 empowers the Election Commission to recognise political parties and allot symbols. The Election Commission registers political parties and recognises them as national or state parties based on their electoral performances. A symbol is then allotted to each national party and each state party.

When was giving symbols started?

Political parties like Congress and Muslim League had symbols even before the independence of India. However, the giving of symbols started during the first general elections between the years 1951–1952. The literacy rate in the country was very low. With the aim of increasing participation of the general public in the elections, distribution of symbols to parties and candidates was started.

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