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SEC to allot common symbol to parties winning 5% seats

Mumbai: In a move that will help avoid confusion among leaders as well as voters, the State Election Commission (SEC) has decided to allot common symbol to political parties that have won at least five per cent seats in the local body election.

SEC has asked the interested parties to submit their application, mentioning the symbol it wants along with the list of candidates who have won the last election.

A winning candidate gets a certificate from returning officer immediately after the declaration of the results.

A copy of these certificates from last election should be attached with party’s application for symbol, SEC stated.

The application should be filed three days prior to the date of submission of nominations.

To facilitate political parties, necessary amendment is being made in Maharashtra registration of political parties Act 2009, an official communication from SEC said.

Earlier, election symbols were distributed on lottery basis but it used to create confusion as single political party used to get different symbols in different local body polls.

This provision is used only for political parties registered with state election commission and have limited reach, the communication stated.

Meanwhile, the commission has also made it clear that votes received by a candidate who joined a political party after winning an election will not be considered in this five per cent amendment because the voters have not voted to the party during the election.

If the five per cent clause in local governing body is coming to zero, then the political party applying for a particular symbol should have won at least one seat in that body in the previous election, the communication stated.