Cake, bat, scissor - election symbols up for grabs

March 22nd, 2009 - 12:10 pm ICT by IANS  

By Mayank Aggarwal and Richa Sharma
New Delhi, March 22 (IANS) Candle, ring, cake and violin may sound like the perfect things for a romantic date, but they are actually some of elections symbols that parties can choose to woo voters in the Indian general election.

They are among the 59 symbols that are still free to be taken up by independents or candidates of unrecognized political parties who are keen to contest the April-May polls, says the Election Commission.

And, sure enough, they have caught the imagination of voters.

Tanu Sharma, 22, said, “I never knew such election symbols existed. These are very cute and will definitely attract youngsters.”

Those candidates who think cricket is the way to the electorate’s heart in India have the option of choosing the ‘bat’ or ‘batsman’ as their symbol. And others can dangle a ‘carrot’ to attract voters.

Candle light vigils are quite a hit among civil groups while registering their protest. Those who want to cash in on to that can opt for the ‘candle’ as an election symbol. Others who want to light the lives of voters can choose the ‘battery torch’!

“There are 59 free election symbols available with us from which the independent candidates or candidates of some unrecognized parties can choose,” said an Election Commission official.

Then there are those who want to woo women voters - who number 340 million out of the total 714 million electorate this time. There is no dearth of symbols for such candidates either.

They can pick and choose from ‘lady’s purse, gas cylinder, gas stove, sewing machine, frying pan, glass tumbler, pressure cooker, spoon, fork, jug, cup and saucer, and glass tumbler’.

“It is surprising that household items are there as election symbols. Someone should really use them to fight the polls,” 54-year-old Usha Kaushal, a housewife, told IANS.

Eatables like ‘ice cream, banana, maize, coconut and bread’ are also among the symbols to be chosen from. If you want to cut into the votes of your opponents, you can use ’scissors’ as your symbol!

Political parties also believe that symbols play a very important role.

“Symbols are important in attracting voters as candidates are recognised by their party symbol. We will go for the ‘candle’ as the symbol for our party as it signifies light and knowledge,” Bharat Punarnirman Dal (BPD) president Ajit Shukla told IANS.

BPD was founded by a group of former IITians and youths and is contesting elections in several parts of the country. Unrecognised registered political parties like it have to apply for election symbols ahead of each poll.

“Even the candidates of bigger political parties are remembered by their election symbols as they relate to their daily life,” Shukla added.

Some of the other symbols which are up for grabs are ‘kite, balloon, road roller, ceiling fan, television, whistle, brush, railway engine, hat, coat, electric pole, frock and camera’.

According to an Election Commission notification, there are seven national parties, 48 state parties and 1,000 registered unrecognised parties in India.

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