‘HSPDP lost lion due to poor show in polls’
By Our Reporter
SHILLONG: The snatc-hing away of the lion symbol from the HSPDP has nothing to do with protests from animal rights activists but everything to do with the percentage of votes polled in successive elections.
“No party which is de-recognised is allotted a permanent symbol by the Election Commission (EC),” Chief Election Officer Prashant Naik told reporters here on Wednesday.
According to him, the lion symbol of the HSPDP would not have been taken away if it was a recognised party.
Respecting the sentiments of animal lovers, he said the EC has decided not to allot the symbol of animals to any new political party while adding that the Commission had decided to retain the animal symbols of all the recognised parties.
Citing an example, Naik informed that both Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have retained elephant as symbol.
He said the HSPDP was derecognised because it failed to get the requisite votes in the last Assembly as well as Lok Sabha elections held subsequently.
“As per the norms of the EC, a party should get at least one-sixth of the total vote share during the election. However, the HSPDP was far below the target set by the Commission,” Naik said.
The Chief Election Officer also said it is unlikely that the HSPDP would be able to get back the lion symbol since it would be considered a new party even if it were to gain recognition from the EC.
It may be reminded that the HSPDP has been contesting the elections in the state on lion symbol ever since it was formed in 1968.
Source: The Shillong Times