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Power lies in poll symbols for illiterate voters Power lies in poll symbols for illiterate voters

Apr-15-2014 | 0 Comments


JAIPUR: Symbols of the Lok Sabha polls hold their own importance in Rajasthan, where 32.9% population is illiterate, according to census 2011. During elections, these voters can't read the candidates' names and party. They identify their candidate only on with their symbols.

The number of illiterates underlines the importance of symbols in the elections. These symbols become important in cases where more than one candidate is contesting election with the same name. In fact, in many seats here, candidates with similar names are contesting polls. In such a situation only symbols differentiates among them. Many unrecognized parties are also in the fray contesting elections. The symbols include-whistle, bottle, bucket, television, sewing machine, diesel pump, balloon, coconut to name a few.

BJP rebel Jaswant Singh contesting from Barmer has chosen battery and torch as his election symbol. The possible reason could be that since a major part of Barmer district is rural, which faces a lot of load shedding, torch has become one of the handiest items in every household.

Congress rebel Buta Singh is capitalizing on the popularity of cricket since he has chosen bat as his election symbol. Akhil Bhartiya Congress Dal Ambedkar candidate Manguram Sen, contesting from Alwar, has chosen kite as his election symbol. Whereas, Kumbha Ram, an Independent contesting from Ganganagar, has chosen electric pole.

"They are not merely symbols. They also convey a message about candidate/party ideology and vision. Independents always try to choose a symbol or object which is very common," said H S Goyal, OSD, Election department. Notably, Independents candidates have to select three symbols from a list of symbols pre-decided by the Election Commission. The EC awards them on the basis of availability.

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