BRS, citing “confusion” as the reason for its four contest losses, loses another legal struggle to have emblems that “resemble its own too closely” removed from circulation. Observe which two minor parties are on the defensive.
On Friday, the ruling Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS) in Telangana filed a lawsuit disputing the electoral symbols that were given out, claiming that they were identical to their own automobile symbol. The Supreme Court declined to consider the appeal. The symbols “road roller” and “chapatti roller,” assigned to the “Yuga Thulasi Party” and the “Alliance of Democratic Reforms Party,” respectively, were causing the BRS to object.
The BRS argued that these symbols, which resembled its automobile insignia too much, would confuse voters on the ballot paper attached to electronic voting machines.
But the Supreme Court rejected its petition, stating that voters possessed the intelligence to distinguish between a car and a road roller.
Weeks prior to the November 2022 Munugode by-election, the BRS had already voiced concerns with the symbols assigned to certain newly formed political parties and Independent candidates. It had requested in its petition to the Election Commission that symbols that were too similar to its symbol—such as the road roller, camera, chapatti roller, television, ship, sewing machine, and soap dish—not be allowed to be used.
During that period, the BRS had also petitioned the Telangana High Court, asking it to order the EC to request its plea. Additionally, the court rejected the plea, stating that because the poll panel had started the procedure, it could not meddle in a by-election.
According to BRS leader Ravula Sridhar Reddy, there was cause for concern for the party. “In the past, voter confusion has cost us votes in a number of constituencies.”
The party claimed that this was the reason why at least four of its candidates had either lost or won very narrowly in the past.
The leaders of the BRS cite the defeat of their candidate, Manda Jaganaddam, in the 2014 election in the Nagarkurnool parliamentary constituency. They claim that over 50,000 votes went to an Independent candidate who was given the emblem “auto-rickshaw,” which they claimed was akin to the BRS vehicle. The party also points to the 2020 Dubbaka bypoll, which the BJP narrowly prevailed in by 1,400 votes, and in which Independent Bandaru Nagaraju received almost 3,700 votes while campaigning on the chapatti-roller emblem.
The party was started with the intention of “encouraging people from the backward classes to join mainstream politics,” according to Goud. “To teach people political leadership, I founded the Southern Political Academy in Hyderabad. We want as many people from the backward class to run for office as we can because they are not given much weight by other parties. “Seeing a backward class person as Telangana CM by 2028” is our motto. According to Goud, “We will field candidates in all 119 constituencies and give 60% of the tickets to the backward classes.”