Candidates aspiring to contest assembly elections on the ticket of a political party are required to submit various documents and forms.
The documents include those on citizenship, age and caste (if they are contesting from a reserved seat), as well as an affidavit on criminal cases, if any, and property and cash owned by the candidates and their immediate family members.
Perhaps the most important documents are Form A and Form B, which denote that a certain candidate has been approved by a political party and should be allotted the election symbol of that party.
These two forms — referred collectively as ‘AB Form’ — prove that a political party has appointed a person in charge of distributing tickets and the candidate has obtained a ticket for a certain constituency from that person.
What is Form A?
This is a communication from a ‘recognised national or state political party’ or a ‘registered but unrecognised political party’ to the returning officer of the constituency or the chief election officer of the state, conveying the names of office-bearers of the party, who have been authorised to intimate names of the candidates chosen by the party to contest the polls. This communication must come from either the president or secretary of the political party. These have to be signed and must carry the party seal.
The form also contains specimen signatures of the office-bearers who have been authorised by the party to distribute tickets.
What is Form B?
This is a communication from the authorised office-bearer of a political party (whose name is mentioned in Form A issued by the president or secretary of the party) to the returning officer of the constituency.
This letter informs the returning officer about the name of the authorised candidate for the party, who should be allotted the party symbol. The letter also contains a substitute name for allotment of the symbol and candidature, in case the nomination of the primary candidate is rejected during scrutiny.
Form B also certifies that the person to whom the authorised candidature has been issued is a member of the political party and his name appears in the party rolls.
What are the most common mistakes made by aspiring candidates?
According to officials, one of the most frequent reasons for rejection of a nomination paper is delay in submitting AB forms and other documents. Another main reason for rejection of a form is leaving sections of the affidavit unfilled.
“Form A and Form B of national parties are often flawless and they are rejected only if they are submitted after the deadline. This is what happened in case of the NCP candidate in Pimpri. In another case, we found during the scrutiny that a candidate’s sponsors were not from the constituency from where he was contesting. So, the forms was rejected,” said Manisha Kumbhar, deputy election officer, Pimpri-Chinchwad.
Election Commission officials said sometimes, political parties give B forms to more than one candidate, which complicates matters.
“In such cases, one form has to be removed. One of the two candidates can be asked to put his name as a substitute,” said officials.