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EC rejects Chiru's plea for a common poll symbol

By Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad
March 03, 2009 08:37 IST
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In a major setback to the Praja Rajyam party of filmstar Chiranjeevi in Andhra Pradesh, the Election Commission of India has rejected its request for a common election symbol on the ground that the party has not contested even a single election so far.
The CEC took the decision after the Andhra Pradesh High Court directed it to reconsider its earlier decision of not allotting any common symbol to a new party.
The PRP, launched in August last had sought 'Rail Engine' as its common election symbol to contest the simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in the state.
Though the official communication of the CEC is yet to reach the PRP, the party bosses have already started exploring alternatives.

Realizing the futility of continuing with the legal arguments at this late stage, the PRP is trying to find a regional party in the other parts of the country with a suitable symbol to share it as an ally.
Nationalist Congress Party of Sharad Pawar in neighbouring Maharashtra has already offered to share its "clock" symbol with PRP, but Chiranjeevi is reportedly wary of getting caught up in NCP's own maneuvering in the national politics and wants steer clear of it.
"We in touch with a couple of other parties who are willing to led their symbols to us sans their name and we will use the symbol as their ally with out any condition", a senior party leader told
The PRP is keen to have a common symbol for a uniform campaign throughout the state.
The CEC's decision has come as a disappointment to the rank and file of the party who were eagerly waiting for the clearance to the Rail Engine as PRP's symbol. The party had even prepared some election material, including songs keeping in view such a symbol.

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Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad