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In Uttar Pradesh, battle for Aam Aadmi Party's broom

December 25, 2013 20:48 IST

A regional party has staked its claim to Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP symbol

If the Aam Admi Party has gained popularity in Delhi, its symbol -- the broom (jhadoo) -- has become a bone of contention in Uttar Pradesh, where a regional party has staked claim to it.

“We have the first right over the jhadoo as we were registered with the Election Commission well before the AAP came into existence,” asserted C B Pandey, the founder president of Naitik Party. “If need be we will go to court,” said Pandey, who is a retired judge.

Pandey, who was compelled to quit the state judicial service as an additional district judge, because he launched a crusade against rampant corruption in the judiciary, clarified, “While we share the common ideology against corruption, I cannot let the Aam Admi Party take away my party’s symbol.”

Pandey’s Naitik Party contested the 2012 state assembly elections and the jhadoo symbol was formally allotted to it by the EC. Pandey intends to contest the Lok Sabha elections in 2014 with the same symbol.

“We propose to field candidates from several places in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, therefore this symbol is important for us,” said Pandey.
“After all, the EC has always followed the first-come-first-served principle. Hence, we have the right to use the symbol. But if that is denied to us, we will seek judicial remedy,” he added.

As per the Election Symbols (reservation and allotment) Order 1968, if there is dispute over a particular symbol, then it goes to the party, which is not just “registered” but also “recognised”. The AAP stands on a stronger footing because of its impressive performance at the Delhi assembly elections.

However, Pandey contended, “We had sought the jhadoo as our symbol well before the AAP got recognition.”

Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow