Hyderabad: Colour pink, which largely represents women in certain categories, had become a subject of controversy in the run-up to Telangana elections, with Election Commission of India's (ECI) suggesting that pink polling booths be set up for women for the assembly elections on December 7.
The colour 'gives jitters' to the Congress as K Chandrasekhar Rao-led Telangana Rashtra Samiti uses pink as the party's official colour scheme for all its promotional material. Leaders including KCR always wear pink scarf around their neck during party functions.
But Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar on Saturday put an end to the debate, saying there will be no pink polling booths for women for the upcoming Telangana polls.
Kumar said no specific colour should be used in the all-women managed polling stations in the state. “This is to avoid any inadvertent use of the colour of any particular political party in or at such polling booths,” he said, adding the women employed at these polling stations can wear any colour of their choice. “No single colour should be used for the paraphernalia associated with the construction of such polling stations.”
Reacting to EC’s proposal of pink booths, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) chief spokesperson Dasoju Sravan had sarcastically said, "the Commission seems to have infected with some pink disease." "We openly raised red flag opposing the introduction of pink ballot papers that it would give undue electoral advantage to TRS.”
The Election Commission had directed for setting up of all-women managed polling stations in each Assembly constituency during general elections held in recent times. “This is in tune with the Commission’s commitment towards gender equality and to ensure greater participation of women in the electoral process,” Kumar said on Saturday.
“The entire polling staff, including police and security personnel, deployed at and in these polling stations are to be women. These all-women managed polling stations are named “Sakhi booths” at some places and pink booths at other places,” he added.