Telangana Polls: Cong approaches EC, demands withdrawal of ‘pink’ ballot papers

New Delhi: The Congress Party on Thursday approached the Election Commission of India (ECI) seeking withdrawal of the pink colored ballot papers that were to be used in the upcoming assembly polls in Telangana.

The Congress backed their demand with the fact that pink is the official colour of the state’s Telangana Rashtriya Samiti (TRS) and that ballot papers of the same colour will give the party “an undue advantage” over others. The party’s memorandum to ECI stated that the colour is synonymous with TRS in the state.

“Party colours are of great significance for representation of parties and its ideologies, inter alia, they also create a bias in the mindset of the voters,” read the Congress memorandum.

The Congress party, in its memorandum, cited an example of the recent Greater Hyderabad Municipal Elections, stating that TRS had filed an immediate protest with authorities over usage of pink colour for the “NOTA” or “None of the Above Category” vote button in the polls.

“TRS had filed an immediate protest with the relevant authorities on the grounds that their voters would confuse the button for the TRS and press the NOTA button inadvertently. The ECI had acceded to this request. But this action also validates our current proposition. The usage of pink coloured ballots without doubt will give the TRS party an undue advantage over other contesting parties.” the memorandum read.

The party urged Election Commission of India to take immediate note of this issue and withdraw the decision by ECI, Telangana with immediate effect. “It would be against the spirit of conducting fair and free elections in Telangana if any part of the process seeks to favour, even inadvertently and without malice, one party over the other,” said the Congress party.

The Telangana Assembly elections are scheduled to be held on December 7 to elect representatives of 119 constituencies. The counting of votes will take place on December 11.