India

Biscuit, cake, capsicum, grapes… voters have quite a menu to choose from

PATNA: From chappals, shoes and baby walker to peas, grapes, capsicum ‘belan’, ‘kadhai’ and even ‘batsman’ — there’s hardly any item of everyday use that is not allotted by the Election Commission as a poll symbol to registered but unrecognised political parties ahead of the Bihar election.
It is often a tedious task for the EC to come up with new symbols as the number of smaller parties is growing exponentially. Barring the few major mainstream parties, whose election symbols are known nationally, symbols for debutante parties are adding colour to the electioneering.
Former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi’s HAM(S), which joined hands with JD(U) and is contesting on seven seats, has got ‘kadhai’ as its party symbol. Party’s spokesperson Danish Rizwan said they had telephone as their party symbol, but voters confused it with a calculator or transistor.
“However, with kadhai, there is no confusion and people can easily identify because it is available in every household,” he said.
To promote the new party symbol, HAM(S)’s chief Manjhi will make ‘suji halwa’ in a kadhai on Monday in his hometown Gaya.
Shiv Sena, a recognised party in Maharashtra with a reserved ‘bow and arrow’ symbol, was allotted a ‘biscuit’ symbol for Bihar election. However, the party has requested the EC to it to ‘man blowing turha’. The party is contesting 50 seats.
Pappu Yadav’s JAP-L party, which contested the state assembly election with hockey stick as their symbol in 2015, has now switched to scissors.
While JMM has got walking stick as symbol, Lok Shakti Party(L) has dish antenna. AAP and SP are contesting on their own party symbols ‘broom’ and ‘cycle’.
Among the new parties is Janhit Dal with batsman as its party symbol, while Rashtriya Jan Jan Party got a bat as its symbol. Bhartiya Aam Awam Party (BAAP) has capsicum, Rashtriya Sab Janshakti Party has got grapes, cakes for NJC, BDP has got shoe symbol, Aam Janta Party Rashtriya has got chappals, Lok Jan Swaraj Party has carrom board, Jan Dal Rashtriyavadi has got doli and Bhartiya Jan Vikas Party has been allotted a baby walker symbol.

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