New Delhi, October 30: A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Election Commission(EC) to remove symbols from ballot and Electronic Voting Machines(EVM) and replace it with ‘name, age, educational qualification and photograph’ of candidates.

The plea filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay has also sought directions to declare that use of party symbol on EVM is illegal, unconstitutional, and violative of the Constitution, news agency PTI reported.

The plea, filed through advocate Ashwani Kumar Dubey, said the best solution to weed corruption and criminalisation in politics is to replace political party symbols on ballot and EVM with name, age, educational qualification, and photograph of the candidates. It said that ballot and EVM without political party symbol have many benefits as it will help electors to vote and support intelligent, diligent, and honest candidates.

“Ballot and EVM without political party symbol will control dictatorship of political party bosses in ticket distribution and forced them to give ticket to those who religiously work for people’s welfare,” the plea said.

Referring to a study done by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), a non-governmental organisation working in electoral reforms, the plea said that out of 539 MPs, 233 (43 per cent) MPs have declared criminal cases against themselves.  

“Out of 542 winners analysed after 2014 election, 185 (34 per cent) had declared criminal cases against themselves and out of 543 winners analysed after 2009 Lok Sabha election, 162 (30 per cent) had declared criminal cases against themselves. There is an increase of 44 per cent in the number of Lok Sabha MPs with declared criminal cases against themselves since 2009, and the root cause of this bizarre situation is the use of political party symbol on ballot paper and EVM,” the plea said.

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