Torch beam brews clash with broom

Torch beam brews clash with broom

Decision taken at behest of AAP, says candidate

Torch beam brews clash with broom

The State Election Commission has modified the election symbol of an independent candidate for the municipal bypolls as it looked ‘similar’ to that of the Aam Aadmi Party, triggering allegations by the candidate that the decision was taken at the behest of AAP.

Abbas Siddiqui, contesting from Ballimaran as an independent, was initially allotted the ‘battery torch’ symbol which had beam coming out of it. But the symbol has now been modified by removing the rays of light, said Siddiqui.

“Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain’s brother-in-law is contesting the bypolls from Ballimaran on the AAP ticket. So AAP has pressurised the returning officer to modify my election symbol,” alleged Siddiqui.

AAP’s election symbol is the broom.
“I had got around 10,000 pamphlets and as many cards printed for canvassing for the civic bypolls. But I can’t use them now,” Siddiqui told Deccan Herald.

But the Returning Officer said that he did not receive any complaint about the election symbol from AAP.  “No party has approached me about the issue,” said Sanjeev Kumar Sharma, Returning Officer, ward No.86, Ballimaran.

“I asked the candidate to stop using the election symbol (on Monday) after I got a call from the printing press. We stopped the printing then and there,” he added.
The free election symbol, battery torch, courted controversy after the 2013 Delhi Assembly election when AAP approached the Election Commission to change it as it caused confusion due its similarity to its own broom symbol.

The Election Commission had modified the battery torch symbol by removing the beam coming out of it for the 2015 Delhi Assembly polls as well.

The AAP had claimed that it lost the 2013 Assembly elections in two constituencies – Janakpuri and Kalkaji – as the electorate confused its broom symbol with the torch.

These municipal byelections are AAP’s first poll outing since its thumping victory in the 2015 Delhi Assembly elections.

The posts of councillors in these wards had fallen vacant after the December 2013 and February 2015 Assembly elections. While nine councillors had resigned after being elected to the Assembly in 2013, four corporators vacated their posts after the 2015 Assembly elections.

The counting of votes is on May 17.