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Telangana polls: Congress moves EC over pink ballots

The Congress on Thursday approached the Election Commission (EC) seeking withdrawal of pink ballot papers pasted on EVMs for the Telangana Assembly polls contending that the colour was associated with the ruling TRS and voters may get influenced.

In its memorandum to the EC, the Congress pleaded for withdrawal of a direction to procure 9 lakh pink ballot papers for the December 7 Assembly elections.

“Pink is the official colour of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), it is synonymous with the party. The usage of pink coloured ballots without doubt, will give the TRS an undue advantage over other contesting parties,” the Congress said in the memorandum.

“The EC is tasked with the conduct of free and fair elections under the Constitution. We are certain that it will agree as this is an important issue that needs immediate redressal. Party colours are of great significance for representation and its ideologies, inter alia, they also create a bias in the mindset of the voters,” it said.

The party also pointed out that during the recently concluded Greater Hyderabad Municipal polls, TRS had objected to the proposal of electronic voting machines having a pink button to designate the “NOTA” or “None of the Above” category vote, saying their voters would mistake the button “for the TRS and press the NOTA button inadvertently”.

“So great is the TRS’ association with the colour that they acknowledged the electoral harm that any confusion would cause them,” said the Congress seeking immediate withdrawal of the direction to procure pink ballot papers. The state Congress has also challenged the decision before Chief Electoral officer Rajat Kumar.

However, the state’s top poll panel official has said the pink-ballot papers pasted on EVMs were in accordance to the provisions of the Representation of People Act.

Written by Youth Darpan

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