The Election Commission has directed that Janata Dal (United) would not be granted a concession to use their reserved symbol ‘arrow’ for contesting elections in the states of Jharkhand and Maharashtra owing to its similarity with the 'bow and arrow' symbol used by JMM and Shiv Sena in the two states.
The poll panel had earlier given concession to the Janata Dal (United) - a recognized state party in Bihar and Arunachal Pradesh with 'Arrow' as its reserved symbol - under a rule to contest polls in the two states using its symbol.
But it has now withdrawn the concession after the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha moved the poll panel, saying similarity in symbols could confuse voters.
JMM enjoys the same status in Jharkhand with 'Bow and Arrow' as its election symbol while the Shiv Sena is a recognised party in Maharashtra with 'Bow and Arrow' as its symbol.
"Having considered all aspects of the matter, the Commission has directed that the JDU will not be granted concession under Paragraph 10 of the Symbols Order to use their reserved symbol 'arrow' for contesting elections in the states of Jharkhand and Maharashtra henceforth," the poll panel order issued on August 16 said.
In March, the Election Commission had banned the symbols of JMM and Shiv Sena in Bihar in view of their similarity with the symbol of JDU, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
"The similarity is both in the design as well as in the nomenclature of the two symbols," the poll panel had said.
The JMM said it was the principal opposition party in Jharkhand with 19 out of 81 MLAs. It got the 'Bow and Arrow' symbol in 1985.
The JDU does not have any MLA or MP from Jharkhand.
"Allotment of the symbol 'Arrow' to candidates of JD(U) in Jharkhand will create confusion in the minds of electors in Jharkhand where majority of voters have a rural base with low-level of literacy. The symbol 'Arrow' has very close similarity in design to 'Bow and Arrow'," the JMM said.