The Model Code of Conduct states that the election campaigning of political parties must stop 48 hours before the polling date. Citing this reason a petitioner by name Ashwini Upadhyay has said that Congress can’t use this symbol as it is an indivisible part of human body. Since Congress leaders can wave at voters before 48 hours, it would be a display of party symbol (a violation of model code of conduct). Therefore it has to be cancelled as per Upadhyay. His complaint says :
“Since the election symbol of Indian National Congress is ‘Hand’, its candidates, supporters and agents always carry it, even when campaigning is stopped [..] it is a violation of Model Code of Conduct and Section 130 of the Representation of the People Act 1951 in every election.”
On 18.4.2018, ECI will hear Petition seeking cancellation of Election Symbol Palm of Hand, which had been illegally allotted to INC. As per Law & Model Code of Conduct, Part of Body can’t be an Election Symbol & also a Person can’t enter in Polling Booth with any Election Symbol. pic.twitter.com/4apDA3phDp
— Ashwini Upadhyay (@AshwiniBJP) April 12, 2018
“Every time a candidate of the said party or his supporter passes through voters in public gathering, they use ‘Palm of Hand’ to solicit votes for Congress candidate, not only prior to the polling, even on the polling day within the 100 meters,” stated Upadhyay.
Mr Upadhay also highlighted the history of the party symbols allocated to Congress in his complaint. It says :
“Election Commission allotted election symbol ‘Pair of Bullock carrying Yoke’ to Indian National Congress and it successfully contested the first four general elections with this symbol. After the internal split, Congress contested fifth general election with election symbol ‘Cow and Calf’ and after another internal split, the Election Commission allotted election symbol ‘Palm of Hand’ to Indian National Congress.”
We will have to wait and watch as to how this will be dealt by Election Commission.