Election Commission Freezes Shiv Sena Symbol

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    • Recently, the Election Commission barred the Shiv Sena factions led by former CM Uddhav Thackeray and current Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde from using the party name and its election symbol.

    About

    • Reason for doing this: 
      • In order to place both the rival groups on an even keel and to protect their rights and interests.
      • To cover the purpose of the current Bye-elections and to continue till the final determination of the dispute in the matter.
    • Symbols For Now:
      • For the purposes of the current bye-elections, the two groups shall be allotted such different symbols as they may choose from the list of free symbols.

    Election Symbols

    • About: 
      • The Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968 empowers the EC to recognise political parties and allot symbols. 
      • Under Paragraph 15 of the Order, it can decide disputes among rival groups or sections of a recognised political party staking claim to its name and symbol.
      • The legal status of Paragraph 15 :
        • Under Paragraph 15, the EC is the only authority to decide issues on a dispute or a merger. The Supreme Court upheld its validity in Sadiq Ali and another vs. ECI in 1971.
    • Types of Symbols:
      • As per the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) (Amendment) Order, 2017, party symbols are either:
      • Reserved: Eight national parties and 64 state parties across the country have “reserved” symbols.
      • Free: The Election Commission also has a pool of nearly 200 “free” symbols that are allotted to the thousands of unrecognised regional parties that pop up before elections.
    • Allocation of Symbols to Political Parties:
      • As per the guidelines, to get a symbol allotted:
      • A party/candidate has to provide a list of three symbols from the EC’s free symbols list at the time of filing nomination papers.
      • Among them, one symbol is allotted to the party/candidate on a first-come-first-serve basis.
      • When a recognised political party splits, the Election Commission decides on assigning the symbol.

    Source: IE