News-CRUX-10     5th April 2024        
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Context: The Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK) that secured 3.9% and 6.5% votes in Tamil Nadu in 2019 and 2021 respectively, has been allotted a new common symbol (Mike).

Allocation of Symbols to Parties

  • Governed by: The provision of Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act (RPA), 1951.
  • Registration by: The Election Commission of India (ECI) under Article 324.
  • Process: Any party seeking registration must apply to the Election Commission within a period of 30 days following the date of its formation. The applicant needs to: 
  • Recognition Criteria for National and State Parties: Parties are classified as either 'national' or 'state' parties based on the criteria outlined in the Election Symbols Order, 1968, established by the Election Commission of India (ECI).

oRecognition at the state level hinges on specific benchmarks, including winning Lok Sabha seats, percentage of Legislative Assembly seats, or percentage of votes polled in a general election.

  • Allotment of Symbols: The Election Commission of India (ECI) allocates symbols to political parties and candidates in accordance with the provisions of the Symbols Order.
  • Common Symbols for Registered Unrecognized Parties: Registered but unrecognized parties are provided with common symbols during elections if they meet certain criteria, such as contesting in a minimum number of Lok Sabha constituencies or a percentage of Assembly. seats.

Current Issue: Allocation of Common Election Symbols

  • Rule 10B of Symbols Order: Provisions for concession of common free symbol to registered unrecognised parties for two general elections and eligibility criteria for subsequent elections.
  • NTK's Situation: Despite securing more than 1% of votes in the last two elections, NTK lost its common symbol due to late application, leading to symbol allocation to BPAP.
  • VCK's Denial: VCK was denied a common symbol due to failure to secure 1% of votes in 2021 State Legislative Assembly elections, despite having representation in Lok Sabha and State Assembly under a different symbol.