New Delhi: What is common among a beadnecklace, a bench, a belt, a balloon and a baby walker? These are among the 164 ‘free symbols’ announced by the Election Commission to be used by registered political parties which are unrecognised.
According to Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968, symbols are either reserved or free.
A reserved symbol is meant for a recognised political party for exclusive allotment to contesting candidates fielded by that party. A free symbol, on the other hand, is a symbol other than that reserved for a recognised party.
Almirah, black board, gas stove, gas cylinder, gramophone, grapes, neck tie, nail cutter, peanuts, pen nib with seven rays, matchbox, noodle bowl, pressure cooker and road roller are some of the other free symbols issued by the Commission on January 11.
BSP, BJP, CPI, CPI (M), Indian National Congress, Nationalist Congress Party and Trinamool Congress are the seven recognised political parties at the national level.
There are 46 political parties recognised at the state level. These parties have their reserved symbols at the national and state level.
The Commission regularly updates its list of free symbols which parties can use to contest polls.
According to the same notification, there are a total of 1837 registered, but unrecognised political parties in the country. PTI
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