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PR withdraws petition for common symbol

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Legal Correspondent

Party leadership exploring, with renewed vigour, several options available

PR in search of a party that would allow use of its symbol: Mitra

PR had challenged constitutional validity of the rules

HYDERABAD: In a surprise development, the Praja Rajyam withdrew the case it filed in the A.P. High Court seeking a common symbol for its candidates for the ensuing Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.

Vedula Venkata Ramana, counsel for the petitioner, informed a bench comprising Justice B. Prakasha Rao and Justice Bhavani Prasad on Tuesday that his client had asked not to press the writ petition.

The Praja Rajyam had challenged the constitutional validity of the rules stipulating that only those political parties which contest in one general election and get six per cent of the votes polled and, in addition, win at least two Assembly seats will be eligible for allotment of an exclusive common symbol in the next elections.

The Election Commission had rejected the PR’s application seeking allotment of a common symbol for its candidates.

Following this, the party approached the High Court which sent the matter back to the EC asking to reconsider the issue. As the Commission rejected the plea, the party filed the present writ petition.

Any party can get itself registered and its candidates be allotted symbol from among the free symbols available.

As per the provisions of the symbols order, the candidates of the recognized parties will get exclusive symbol. The PR wanted this status which the Commission was not willing to confer.

Special Correspondent adds: After withdrawing its case, the Praja Rajyam leadership began exploring with renewed vigour several options available for it, in its quest for a common symbol. These include moving the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the EC and sharing a symbol with a recognised party outside the State.

Divergent views

Party general secretary Parakala Prabhakar described the decision as “a strategic withdrawal”.

He said “we are fully confident that our candidates will contest the elections on a common symbol and are hopeful that justice will be delivered to us”.

Another general secretary P. Mitra admitted that the party was in search of a recognised party that would allow its symbol to be used by the Praja Rajyam.

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