Eatables such as green chilli, carrot, cauliflower and cake, daily use items such as nail cutter, chappals, purse and helmets besides instruments and appliances such as stethoscope, plate stand, dish-antenna and air-conditioner form an interesting list of more than 85 free symbols to be allotted to Independent candidates in Lok Sabha fray.
The list also has symbols of different sports including carom, chess-board, cricket bat and batsman for poll aspirants willing to accept these symbols.
As many as 36 candidates filed their nominations as independents from Pune Lok Sabha seat on the last date of the filing of nominations on Wednesday, said election authorities.
The election commission has set aside reserved symbols for national parties including BJP, Congress, NCP, CPI, CPI (M), BSP, Shiv Sena and MNS.
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As per rules, candidates other than those sponsored by national or regional parties have to choose three symbols in order of preference from the list of free symbols specified for the state/Union Territory by the election commission and also have to indicate such preference in nomination papers.
The rules further state that the allotment of the symbols has to be done immediately after the deadline for withdrawal of candidatures expires. A different symbol has to be allotted to each candidate in conformity with his/her choice mentioned in the nomination paper.
Speaking to Newsline, Ashfaque Shiekh, a scrap trader, who is contesting as an Independent from Pune seat, said he has selected black-board, television and autorickshaw as preferred symbols.
“I belong to Muslim community, which is still far away from mainstream education. My dream is to work for fulfilling educational needs of my community besides pursing other important agendas. By opting for black board as an election symbol, I would be able to relate to voters more effectively,” said Shiekh, a resident of Kasba Peth.
AAP candidate from Pune seat Subhash Ware said election commission had removed his party’s symbol broom from the list after a formal request. “The broom is now reserved for AAP. It has become more like our identity,” he said.
Activist Jugal Rathi said that interesting free symbols forIndependents has added an element of entertainment to election atmosphere.