a) The Election Symbols
Election symbols are called by reservation and allotment order 1968.
It extends to the whole of India and applies in relation to elections in all Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies other than Assembly Constituencies in the State of Jammu & Kashmir.
b) Definitions used in Elections
Commission: It means the Election Commission of India constituted under Article 324 of the Constitution.
Assembly: It means Constituent Assembly. The idea of a Constituent Assembly for India was put forward for the first time in 1934 by M.N.Roy. It became an official demand of the Indian National Congress in 1935 and was accepted by the British in August 1940.
Contested election: It means an election in a parliamentary or an assembly constituency where a poll is taken.
General election: It means any general election held after the commencement of this Order for the purposes of constituting the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly of a State.
Political party: A political party is an organization of people which seeks to achieve goals common to its members through the acquisition and exercise of political power. It is Registered with the Commission as a political party under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
State: a nation considered as an organized political community under one government. It includes the National Capital Territory of Delhi and the Union Territory of Pondicherry.
Union Territory: A union territory is a type of administrative division in the Republic of India. Unlike states, which have their own elected governments, union territories are ruled directly by the Union Government (Central Government), hence the name 'Union Territory'.
Population: It means the population as ascertained at the last preceding census of which the relevant figures have been published.
Allotment of symbols: In every contested election a symbol shall be allotted to a contesting candidate in accordance with the provisions of this Order and different symbols shall be allotted to different contesting candidates at an election in the same constituency.
Classification of symbols: For the purpose of this Order symbols are either reserved or free.
1. A reserved symbol is a symbol which is reserved for a recognised political party for exclusive allotment to contesting candidates set up by that party.
2. A free symbol is a symbol other than a reserved symbol.
Choice of symbols by candidates of National and State Parties and allotment
(1) A candidate set up by a National Party at any election in any constituency in India shall choose, and shall be allotted, the symbol reserved for that party and no other symbol.
(2) A candidate set up by a State Party at an election in any constituency in a State in which such party is a State Party, shall choose, and shall be allotted the symbol reserved for that Party in that State and no other symbol.
(3) A reserved symbol shall not be chosen by, or allotted to, any candidate in any constituency other than a candidate set up by a National Party for whom such symbol has been reserved or a candidate set up by a State Party for whom such symbol has been reserved in the State in which it is a State Party even if no candidate has been set up by such National or State Party in that constituency.
Restriction on the allotment of Symbols
Reserved for State Parties in States where such parties are not recognised – A symbol reserved for a State Party in any State
(a) Shall not be included in the list of free symbols for any other State or Union Territory; and
(b) Shall not be reserved for any other party which subsequently becomes eligible, on fulfilment of the conditions.
Classification of political parties
(a) For the purposes of this Order and for such other purposes as the Commission may specify as and when necessity there for arises, political parties are either recognised political parties or unrecognised political parties.
(b) A recognised political party shall either be a National party or a State party.
Conditions for recognition as a National party
A political party shall be treated as a recognised National party,
(i) The candidates set up by it, in any four or more States, at the last general election to the House of the People, or to the Legislative Assembly of the State concerned, have secured not less than six percent of the total valid votes polled in their respective States at that general election.
(ii) It has returned at least four members to the House of the People at the aforesaid last general election from any State or States.
(iii) Its candidates have been elected to the House of the People, at the last general election to that House, from at least two percent of the total number of parliamentary constituencies in India.
Conditions for recognition as a State party
A political party, other than a National party, shall be treated as a recognised State party in a State
(i) The candidates set up by it, at the last general election to the House of the People, or to the Legislative Assembly of the State concerned, have secured not less than six percent of the total valid votes polled in that State at that general election.
(ii) It has returned at least two members to the Legislative Assembly of the State at the last general election to that Assembly.
(iii) It wins at least three percent of the total number of seats in the Legislative Assembly of the State.
When a candidate shall be deemed to be set up by a political party
For the purposes of an election from any parliamentary or assembly constituency to which this Order applies, a candidate shall be deemed to be set up by a political party in any such parliamentary or assembly constituency.
a) The candidate has made the prescribed declaration to this effect inhis nomination paper.
b) The candidate is a member of that political party and his name is borne on the rolls of members of the party.
c) The said notice in Form B is signed by the President, the Secretary or any other office bearer of the party, and the President, Secretary or such other office bearer sending the notice has been authorised by the party to send such notice.
d) The name and specimen signature of such authorised person are communicated by the party, in Form A, to the Returning Officer of the constituency and to the Chief Electoral Officer of the State or Union Territory concerned.
Power of Commission to issue instructions to UN -recognised political parties for their expeditious recognition on fulfilment of conditions
The Commission may issue for the benefit of unrecognised political parties such instructions as it may think necessary for their expeditious recognition when they have to Fulfilled any of the conditions for such recognition.
Notification containing lists of political parties and symbols
The Commission shall by one or more notifications in the Gazette of India publish lists specifying-
(a) The National Parties and the symbols respectively reserved for them.
(b) The State Parties, the State or States in which they are State Parties and the symbols respectively reserved for them in such State or States.
(c) The un-recognised political parties and the addresses of their headquarters registered with the Commission.