Janata Dal (United) national president Nitish Kumar with party symbol in the background (File Photo)
New Delhi: The Election Commission has barred Bihar's ruling Janata Dal (United) from using its election symbol 'Arrow' in Jharkhand and Maharashtra in view of its similarity with the symbols of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and Shiv Sena.
JD(U) is a recognized state party in Bihar and Arunachal Pradesh with 'Arrow' as its reserved symbol.
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. Assembly elections are due in both states.
The EC said in its August 16 order that the JD(U) "will not be granted a concession to use their reserved symbol 'Arrow' for contesting elections in Jharkhand and Maharashtra henceforth."
The order was taken based on an application of June 24 submitted by the JMM.
In March, the EC had banned the symbols of JMM and Shiv Sena in Bihar in view of their similarity with the symbol of JD(U), 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 JD(U) 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.