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OJM to challenge HC decision on use of ‘kite’ symbol in SC

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OST Bureau

Bhubaneswar, Dec 20:

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Odisha Jana Morcha (OJM) president Pyarimohan Mohapatra today said he would move the Supreme Court challenging the order of Odisha High Court rejecting  the party’s plea to use its newly acquired election symbol, ‘kite’ in the ensuing Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation ( BMC ) polls.

The High Court had upheld the order of the state election commission (SEC) and agreed with the contention of the SEC that OJM had failed to apply to the Commission to contest the BMC polls with its election symbol five days before the poll notification as required under Section 10 (B) of the Election Symbol (Reservation & Allotment) Order of 1968.

“We have decided to challenge the order of the High Court on use of the ‘kite’ symbol in BMC polls in the Supreme Court. We will make sure that the SEC does not make such a mistake ever again. The commission has misrepresented the facts,” Mohapatra told OST.

Replying to a question whether the case would stand in the apex court, he said that the SEC ‘s decision is unconstitutional in view of an order of the Chief Election Commissioner of India on February 9, 1996 which made it clear that the said order was only applicable to recognised political parties and not to a new outfit like the OJM.

The stipulation in the orders of the ECI that a registered, unrecognized party can apply only six months before the expiry of the term and not before and latest by five days before the Notification for election is issued, are relevant for the purpose of the Election Commission of India in considering allotment of symbol of the said party, he had pointed out in a letter to SEC.   Meanwhile, OJM has decided to launch a door-to-door campaign during the electioneering process for BMC against Naveen Patnaik and his party BJD. “Our party has decided to launch a door-to-door campaign against the misrule of Naveen Patnaik and the BJD in the state as well as in the corporation. We will appeal to the people to vote for any candidate, whetherhe or she belongs to any party or is an independent, except BJD,,” said Mohapatra.

He, however, denied fielding any independent candidates on behalf of the party citing the Udala incident, where six independent candidates joined BJD after winning elections.