Poll panel allots razor, chappal, hatchet as symbols

Poll panel allots razor, chappal, hatchet as symbols

 Symbols alloted by the State Election Commission for the upcoming Gram Panchayat elections have upset many candidates in Davangere district. Over 240 GPs in the district are going to polls on June 2.

Since GP elections are non-political, the commission has asked the candidates to choose any one of the 84 symbols suggested by it. It has offered them such symbols as razor, sharp knife, chappal (flip-flop), scissors, cutting pliers, toothbrush, ladies’ purse, bread, helmet, green chilli, cake, auto-rickshaw, hatchet, hut, nail cutter, etc. Symbols like razor, chappal, hatchet, etc, have made the candidates red-faced.

Candidates mocked

Many candidates say people in their villagers are mocking them for picking symbols like razor, hatchet, chappal, knife, scissors, toothbrush and broom. Some of them say they feel embarrassed seeking votes on such symbols.

GP polls are considered crucial in local governance. GP members play an important role in development of villages, protection of lakes and other government property, promotion of health, sanitation, education and other areas of rural development.

Draws criticism

While the Election Commission has banned the entry of people carrying objects like hatchet, scissors, razor, etc into the polling centres and within a 100-metre radius of these places, the allotment of such symbols has drawn criticism from the public.

Sources in the district administration say candidates can choose any one of the 84 symbols suggested by the EC. The district adminstration will allot a different symbol if more than one candidates seek the same one.

Meanwhile, in some villages of Harapanahalli and Jagalur taluks in Davangere district, GP posts are being secretly auctioned to the highest bidder. Village elders, who collect the auction money, plan to use it for renovation of temples and other development works in their villages.

The Congress and the BJP are taking the GP polls seriously to ensure the victory of their supporters. GP members play a crucial role in mobilising voters in grassroots-level politics.

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