Pune: Sharad Pawar’s NCP Complains To Election Commission After Independent Candidate Given Tutari Symbol For Baramati Constituency

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Tikam Shekhawat

Pune/Baramati, 23rd April 2024: Election symbols have been allocated to candidates vying for the Baramati Lok Sabha constituency, with an independent candidate finding himself at the centre of a dispute.

Soyal Shah Yunus Shah Shaikh, an independent contender, was assigned the symbol ‘Tutari’, triggering objections from the NCP Sharad Chandra Pawar party, leading to a formal complaint lodged with the Central Election Commission.

The drama unfolded against the backdrop of the nomination filing period for the Baramati Constituency, which ran from April 12 to April 19. During this window, a total of 51 individuals threw their hats into the ring.

Subsequent scrutiny of these applications on April 20 saw five submissions dismissed, leaving 46 candidates with valid nominations. However, the final tally was further trimmed as eight candidates withdrew their applications by the deadline on Monday, April 22, leaving 38 contenders in the electoral fray.

Following the consolidation of candidates, the allocation of symbols to independent nominees commenced, with Shaikh expressing a preference for the ‘Tutari’ symbol. According to the established protocol of symbol preference, Shaikh’s demand was accommodated, resulting in him being assigned the ‘Tutari’ symbol. However, the decision drew swift opposition from the NCP Sharad Chandra Pawar party, whose symbol is ‘Man blowing a turha’ (Tutari vajavnara manus).

Asserting that the ‘Tutari’ symbol bore a resemblance to their own, the Sharad Pawar-led party promptly lodged a formal objection with the Central Election Commission, seeking a reconsideration of the decision.

Meanwhile, Shaikh, the independent candidate at the heart of the controversy, reaffirmed his preference for the ‘Tutari’ symbol, which he had ranked as his top choice among the available options for free symbols.