Telangana polls: ‘Pink fight’ over ballot paper colour
Hyderabad, Nov 14 : The colour pink may generally be associated with women, but in poll-bound Telangana it has got opposition Congress up in arms against the Election Commission’s move to opt for the colour on EVMs, saying pink was connected with the ruling TRS.
Pink seems to ‘give jitters’ to the Congress as K Chandrasekhar Rao-led Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) uses it as the party’s official colour scheme for all its promotional material.
TRS leaders including Rao wear pink scarf around their neck during party functions.
On its part, the EC said that it was only going by laid down norms.
Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) chief spokesperson Dasoju Sravan sarcastically said, “the EC seems to have been infected with some pink disease.”
He alleged that EC represented by a Deputy Chief Electoral Officer issued orders for printing 90 lakh ballot papers in ‘pink’ colour.
“We openly raised red flag opposing the introduction of pink ballot papers that it would give undue electoral advantage to TRS.”
“However, the EC in Telangana has taken no action to stop those violations rather the aforesaid illegal decision is reinforced ignoring the open plea made by us,” he said.
There were representations to the EC from Congress not to use the colour apprehending it may influence voters towards the TRS party.
Responding to the issue, Chief Electoral officer Rajat Kumar said the commission has decided to hold the elections with pink-coloured ballot papers pasted on EVMs but the voter slips would be in white colour, according to the provisions of the Representation of People’s Act.
“The Representation of the People Act has to be amended for changing the colour of the ballot paper,” he noted.
However, TRS has a reason for choosing Pink as its party’s colour.
TRS MP Vinod Kumar said pink represents peace and love and in 2001 when separate Telangana movement was started by KCR, they decided to use it for the same reason.
Kumar claimed that a decision on the colours of ballot papers was taken in 1952 when Jawaharlal Nehru was the Prime Minister of the country.
“It was decided then that white would be used for Parliament and pink for Assembly ballot papers,” Kumar told PTI.
The election symbol of the TRS is “Car” and is usually drawn on a pink-coloured rectangular party flag.