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Delhi poll panel opposes Swaraj India's symbol plea

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Yogendra Yadav-led Swaraj India's plea for a common symbol to contest the upcoming MCD polls was today opposed in the High by the State Commission.

The poll panel said the party's plea was not maintainable because there are many registered but unrecognised parties which have not been given a common symbol. It wanted to know "why should such preference be given to Swaraj "


The poll panel's submission was made before Justice Hima Kohli, who listed the matter for hearing tomorrow.

The State Commission (DSEC) also said it was only implementing the directions of the Union which has the power to change the rules.

It said the powers to change the rules have been delegated to the Lieutenant Governor and not to it.

The Commission contended that Swaraj has not challenged their March 14 notifuication which bars grant of a common symbol to the candidates of unrecognised but registered parties.

Swaraj India, represented by advocate Prashant Bhushan, said it has challenged the March 14 notification.

The court, however, said since the affidavit has not been taken on record yet, the matter will be heard tomorrow.

In its plea, Swaraj has also sought quashing of the State Commission's April 2016 notification which said the nominees of such parties would be treated as independent candidates for allotment of symbols.

The MCD polls are scheduled for April 22.

Swaraj was floated in October last year by Yadav and Bhushan, who were expelled from (AAP) after they questioned Arvind Kejriwal's leadership.
The party, registered by the Commission of

(ECI) in February 2017, has contended that the Symbol order was "wholly illegal, arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable and selective, destroying the very fairness of the proposed electoral process itself".

Swaraj has contended in its plea that providing it a common symbol will create a level playing field between all the parties, whether recognised or not, and ensure free and fair elections.

Swaraj has also challenged the February 21, 2017 and March 7, 2017, orders of the poll panel declining the party's request for a common symbol.

The party has contended that the poll panel rejected their request for a symbol despite a provision in the ECI rules to provide a common symbol to a registered but unrecognised political party like Swaraj India, which is set to make its debut in the upcoming MCD polls.

The party said that ECI's Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) (Amendment) Order allows newly registered political parties to have a common symbol for all their candidates for contesting their first

The party has claimed that states like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, West Bengal, Kerala, Sikkim and Tripura follow the rule.

"It is submitted that the respondents (poll panel and government) arbitrarily and with malafide intention are not changing their order in line with the position laid down and practised by the ECI and the other state commissions (SECs)," its petition said.

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