Same names, 'similar' symbols, confusion


Several voters in West Delhi constituency had a tough time distinguishing between the election symbols of three Jarnail Singhs contesting from the area.

 Aam Aadmi Party workers claimed their volunteers had to be deployed outside every polling station to clear the confusion and inform people that they had to vote for their Jarnail Singh.

They also alleged that it was a “conspiracy” to allot similar appearing symbols to the candidates sharing same names. The other two candidates, both independent, had battery torch and shuttle as their symbols.

Less than a month ago, the AAP had approached the Election Commission for getting the torch symbol tweaked claiming that the similarity cost the party two seats in the Delhi Assembly elections. The EC had then removed the rays from the torch symbol which made its appearance quite similar to that of a broom.

But party workers claimed the move failed to change much as similar names still left the voters confused. “Three candidates with same name and similar looking election symbols cannot be a mere coincidence,” alleged Gaurav, an AAP worker.

Deccan Herald came across several voters in Janakpuri, Dwarka and Uttam Nagar areas who were confused by the party symbols. A 75-year-old woman Meena Kumari said she took one whole minute to be sure she was voting for the Jarnail of her choice.
While posters outside the polling booths contained the candidates’ names, election symbols as well as party names, the EVMs only bore the first two details.

Sirish Chand Dubey, an AAP volunteer said he was alarmed after he came across eight senior citizens within half-an-hour by 10 am who said they were confused by the sequence. “Seven of them said they had pressed the first option by chance. The eighth person wanted to vote for us but made the wrong choice,” he claimed.

Once the party workers got to know the sequence, they began telling voters that they had to choose the “first option”.

“Mata ji, broom is the number one option. Choose one or pay Rs 2,000 per gas cylinder,” an AAP worker was seen telling an old woman at Uttam Nagar.

The party said it knew about the problem and was creating an awareness among the voters even through social networking sites.

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