Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order of 1968

Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order of 1968

Recently the Delhi High court issued notice to Election commission and the ruling party in Andhra Pradesh over violating the EC’s directives.


  • The notice was directed towards ruling Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party which was alleged to violate the EC’s directives by using the abbreviation of  YSR Congress Party in place of its full name.
  • The abbreviation gives an impression of reference to the old Anna YSR Congress Party.
  • The petitioner has called for De-recognising the ruling party under Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order of 1968.

Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order of 1968:

  1. It is an order to provide for specification, reservation, choice and allotment of symbols for the recognition of political parties.
  2. It is applicable to both parliamentary and assembly elections.
  3. As per the order, a symbol shall be allotted to a contesting candidate in accordance with the provisions of this Order and different symbols shall be allotted to different contesting candidates at an election in the same constituency.
  4. Classification of Symbols: There are two types of symbols i.e reserved and free.
    1. A reserved symbol is a symbol which is reserved for a recognised political party for exclusive allotment to contesting candidates set up by that party.
    2. A free symbol is a symbol other than a reserved symbol.
  5. Classification of Political Parties: These are either recognised political parties or unrecognised political parties. A recognised political party shall either be a National Party or a State party, rest all are unrecognised parties.
  6. Choice of symbols by candidates of National and State Parties and allotment thereof:
    1. A national party candidate has to mandatorily use its party symbol.
    2. A state party candidate has to mandatorily use its party symbol.
    3. No other person is allowed to use a national or state party symbol or national party symbol irrespective of that party contesting or not.
  7. It also gives EC power to suspend or withdraw recognition of a recognised political party for its failure to observe Model Code of Conduct or follow lawful directions and instructions of the Commission.

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