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JD (U) to seek EC’s nod for new symbol

Bihar’s ruling party JD-U could soon have a new election symbol as it plans to widen its reach beyond the state after halting the Narendra Modi juggernaut in state Assembly polls a few months ago.

Janta Dal

After veering round to the view that its existing “arrow” election symbol is “confusing” voters, the party has planned to meet the Election Commission any day after Makar Sankranti and submit a list of its symbol choices to replace the existing one.

Makar Sankranti is on coming Thursday and, hence a forward movement on the issue is expected next week.

The party’s bid to seek a new symbol comes ahead of Assembly Election scheduled in five states — Assam, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, West Bengal and Kerala, where it is planning to contest as part of some ‘grand morcha’ on the lines of that formed in Bihar to defeat NDA, sources in JD-U said.

They said that the party is likely to seek one of the three symbols — tree, a farmer wielding a plough and hut.

Banyan tree was the symbol of Samyukta Socialist Party, while Praja Socialist Party’s symbol was hut. Farmer with plough was the symbol of Lok Dal.

All of them were part of larger Janata Parivar family at some point or the other. After initially showing keenness to get the ‘wheel’ symbol of erstwhile Janata Dal, JD-U has given up the hope on it as it is not sure of the support of Janata Dal (Secular).

A JD-U delegation had met the Election Commission immediately after the Bihar polls to discuss the issue of symbol. Responding to their demand for the wheel symbol, the EC is learnt to have told them that the wheel symbol can be given to them if JD(S) does not object to it.

The sources in the party said that after Makar Sankranti, a party delegation will visit the EC to take up the matter. JD-U is hopeful that it will get the new symbol by the month end. The party’s hunt for the new symbol emanates from a feeling that something much more identifiable with the people should be its election symbol.

Moreover, JD-U’s symbol arrow is also identical with the bow and arrow symbol of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and Shiv Sena. There is a feeling in the party that JD-U lost a good number of votes in a number of seats in Bihar even in this Assembly Election due to its symbol being confused with that of Shiv Sena and JMM.

At its national executive meeting on December 20-21, last year, the party had passed a resolution, saying, “Janata Dal is deeply concerned about its election symbol, which found similarity with election symbols of other political parties in the recently completed assembly election. “In the last election for Bihar Assembly and election for Lok Sabha in different states, the reason of defeat of Janata Dal (U) candidates was similar election symbols,” it said.

At the meeting, the party had unanimously resolved to “approach the Election Commission effectively for allotment of a new symbol to JD(U)” and authorised party president Sharad
Yadav to pursue the matter with the poll panel.

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