Hyderabad: The Hyderabad High Court on Thursday directed the farmers who wanting to contest the forthcoming Lok Sahba elections from Nizamabad constituency as independent candidates, to give proof that they had given the Election Commission their choice of symbols at the time of filing their nominations.
A division bench of Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice T. Amarnath Goud was dealing with a petition filed by the 16 farmers in Nizamabad constituency, who had filed nominations to contest in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, saying that they had not been allotted an election symbol by the Election Commission. They urged the court to postpone the April 11 elections in that constituency to give them time to campaign after the symbol is allocated.
The bench inquired whether the petitioners had submitted their choice of election symbol when they filed their nominations and demanded proof of the same.
“Kanoon saboot mangtha hai (the law requires proof),” Justice Chauhan said.
Ms Bollu Rachana Reddy, counsel for the petitioners, submitted that the ECI was discriminating against the farmers by not allotting the election symbol even 10 days after they had filed their nominations, leaving them barely five days time to campaign.
Ms Reddy submitted that the candidates of recognised political parties and unrecognised political parties, who have a symbol from the beginning of the election notification, started propagating their respective symbols from the day of nomination.
“Waiting for the symbol to be allotted will deprive the petitioners of having equal chances to propagate their respective symbols thus creating an unfair, pronounced, deliberate imbalance in the level playing field,” she told the court.
Since the court wanted proof, she sought time to provide it. The court has given time till Monday to submit the proof, and posted the case for hearing on the same day.
Altogether 174 farmers have filed their nominations to contest from Nizamabad constituency, saying they had received no help from the state or central governments and were thus determined to help themselves.