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Case against letting alliance party candidates contest in reserved symbols

A writ petition has been filed in the Madras High Court seeking a direction to the Election Commission of India (ECI) to not allow recognised political parties, holding reserved symbols, to field alliance party candidates in the Assembly elections under those reserved symbols. The petition also sought to forbear the Returning Officers from allotting DMK’s ‘rising sun’ symbol to any of its allies.

Advocate B. Ramkumar Adityan, a member of AIADMK between 2011 and 2017, had filed the case by contending that DMK had entered into electoral pacts with many of its allies including MDMK and allotted seats to their members with a rider that they would contest in the rising sun symbol. He wondered how such pacts could be entered when none could be a member of more than one political party.

The petitioner also claimed that one of the allies, Vaiko of MDMK, had told journalists that all six candidates of his party would contest on DMK’s rising sun symbol due to a practical necessity. He had reportedly reasoned that MDMK did not want to contest in six different symbols in the constituencies allotted to it in the alliance and since not much time was left for campaigning, it was decided to contest in DMK’s symbol.

Terming such practice as illegal, the petitioner said the ECI must ensure that members of one political party do not end up contesting under the reserved symbols allotted to another party.

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