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Updated: May 22, 2011 04:07 IST

Pattali Makkal Katchi may lose recognition as a State party

T. Ramakrishnan
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PMK founder S. Ramadoss. File photo
The Hindu PMK founder S. Ramadoss. File photo

The Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), which bagged just three seats in the Assembly elections, will, in all likelihood, lose its recognition as a State party.

In contrast, the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK), which was struggling to have a symbol of its own, will be recognised as a State party.

The PMK, one of the recognised State parties, contested from 30 constituencies as part of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam-led front. It got 19,27,783 votes, 5.23 per cent of the valid votes polled.

The DMDK, the second major party in the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam-led front, captured 29 seats out of 41 constituencies it contested. It netted 29,03,828 votes with a vote share of 7.88 per cent.

Quoting the 1968 Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, a senior official of the Elections Department says for an organisation to be recognised as a State party, it should have got not less than six per cent of the total valid votes polled in the State in the last elections to the Lok Sabha or Assembly and returned at least two members to the Assembly.

Alternatively, the party should have won in at least three per cent of the total number of seats in the Assembly of the State or at least three seats in the Assembly, whichever is more.

If one were to apply the second aspect of the rule, though the PMK has bagged three seats, it should represent at least three per cent of the total number of seats (234). As only the higher value is considered, the number of seats won by the party will not be considered for retaining its recognition.

Going by the 1968 Order, when a party loses recognition, it also loses the symbol allotted to it. The PMK has been allotted the ‘Mango' symbol.

But, in the case of the DMDK, the party's performance in the recent elections fulfils the conditions of the Election Commission. Therefore, a symbol will be reserved for the party.

In the Assembly elections, the party was given the ‘nagara', one of the free symbols. A row erupted as the same symbol was allotted to an Independent in the Srirangam assembly constituency from where All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Jayalalithaa contested and won by a margin of about 42,000 votes.

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