The president of the Ahimsa Socialist Party, T Ramesh, filed a PIL in the Madras High Court to freeze the BJP’s lotus symbol on October 26. According to Ramesh, the lotus is the national flower and as a result, it should not have been allotted as a party symbol. He has filed a petition asking the High Court to direct the Chief Election Commissioner to now freeze the symbol.
According to reports, the petition filed by Ramesh stated that allotting the lotus symbol to the BJP was a disgrace to national integrity. According to Live Law, Ramesh submitted that free and fair election was based on equality and thus if one party was discriminated against another party, it would cause gross injustice and would also be against Article 14 of the Constitution. He added that to avoid any discrimination, the lotus symbol allotted to the BJP had to be cancelled and that the symbol should not be allotted to any political party – recognized/registered and independent.
The counsel for Ramesh presented the case on October 26 before Justices D Bharatha Chakravarthy and V Lakshminaryanan and requested they consider the case but they refused to take it up. Earlier in 2016, a similar PIL was filed in Mumbai High Court stating that the lotus was the national flower and could not be used as a party symbol by the BJP.
The petition, filed by activist Hemant Patil in Mumbai, stated, “Lotus is a sacred flower and occupies a unique position in art and mythology of ancient India and it has been an auspicious symbol of Indian culture. Lotus is a flower of Goddess Laxmi and symbolises wealth, prosperity and fertility. Lotus symbolises purity, achievement, long life and good fate and hence cannot be used as a symbol by any party for election purposes.” The Election Commission had allotted the lotus symbol to the BJP about 32 years ago.