Sharad Pawar's NCP says ‘Tutari’ symbol created confusion, seeks removal from list | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Sharad Pawar's NCP says ‘Tutari’ symbol created confusion, seeks removal from list

Jun 25, 2024 08:45 AM IST

The Sharad Pawar-led NCP has approached the ECI, requesting it to remove the trumpet (tutari) from the list of free symbols in the state

MUMBAI: The Sharad Pawar-led NCP has approached the Election Commission of India (ECI), requesting it to remove the trumpet (tutari) from the list of free symbols in the state. In a letter to the ECI on June 14, the party explained that the symbol had created confusion among voters in the recently held Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra, as the Marathi name ‘tutari’ was similar to the ‘tutari vajavnara manus’ (man blowing a turha) symbol allotted to it early this year.

Navi Mumbai, India - Feb. 24, 2024:Nationalist Congress Party Sharadchandra Pawar chief Sharad Pawar during launch of partys new symbol held at Raigad Fort in Navi Mumbai, India, on Saturday, February 24, 2024. (Photo by Bachchan Kumar/ HT PHOTO) (HT PHOTO)
Navi Mumbai, India - Feb. 24, 2024:Nationalist Congress Party Sharadchandra Pawar chief Sharad Pawar during launch of partys new symbol held at Raigad Fort in Navi Mumbai, India, on Saturday, February 24, 2024. (Photo by Bachchan Kumar/ HT PHOTO) (HT PHOTO)

The NCP (SP) has also sought time from the ECI to explain the confusion caused by the symbol and why it concerns the party. Leaders said they were ready to approach the Supreme Court if the poll body did not take the necessary action in this regard.

After the split in the party in July last year, the ECI allotted the ‘tutari vajavnara manus’ symbol, which was in the list of free symbols, to the NCP (SP). The party contested 10 Lok Sabha seats as part of the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi coalition in the state. “On all the 10 seats where NCP (SP) candidates were contesting, independent candidates sought the trumpet as their election symbol which was translated into Marathi as ‘tutari’ by the poll body—very close to ‘tutari vajavnara manus’, which led to confusion among voters,” said NCP (SP) general secretary Aditi Nalawade.

The letter to the ECI claims that the confusion damaged the poll prospects of NCP (SP) candidates. “For instance, Sanjay Gade contested from the Satara Lok Sabha constituency as an independent candidate. He was allotted the tutari as his poll symbol. He secured 37,062 votes whereas NCP (SP) candidate Shashikant Shinde lost the poll to the BJP’s Udayanraje Bhosale by a margin of 32,771 votes,” the letter states.

Giving another example, the letter says that in the Dindori constituency, independent candidate Babu Bhagare, contesting under the tutari symbol, secured 1,03,632 votes. Bhaskar Bhagare of the NCP (SP) would have lost the poll had his lead not been more. Bhagare’s victory margin was 1.13 lakh votes. Likewise, in the Beed Lok Sabha seat, another independent candidate, Ashok Thorat, also fought under the tutari symbol and garnered 54,850 votes. However, in this constituency, NCP (SP) candidate Bajrang Sonwane emerged victorious with a narrower margin of 6,553 votes, says the letter.

“Against this backdrop, we have requested the poll body to remove the tutari from the list of free symbols in the state. We have also sought a hearing on the issue so that it can be explained in detail,” said Nalawade.

NCP (SP) leaders said they had been raising their concern over this confusion between election symbols since April 12 but the poll body did not take cognisance.

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