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Won't There Be Sunrise Till Polls, Wonder Karnataka Palmists After EC Bars Use of Hand Symbol

Nearly 12 EC officials visited several houses and offices of astrologers in Mandya city near Mysore, covering the image of palm. Astrologers asked if the Commission was also planning to block the sunrise till elections as it is DMK's symbol

D P Satish | News18dp_satish

Updated:March 13, 2019, 3:23 PM IST
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Won't There Be Sunrise Till Polls, Wonder Karnataka Palmists After EC Bars Use of Hand Symbol
Astrologers in Mandya have been asked to cover the image of palm till the voting is over (News18)
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Bengaluru: The astrologers and palmists who eke out a livelihood by predicting the future of people seem to have become a collateral damage in Lok Sabha elections. The Election Commission officials in Karnataka are visiting their houses and offices to cover the image of palm (hand) used in their publicity boards, claiming that the image bears resemblance to the symbol of Indian National Congress (INC).

According to reports, over half a dozen EC officials visited several houses and offices of astrologers in Mandya city near Mysore on Tuesday covering the image of palm/hand. They told the fortunetellers that this exercise would be extended to entire Mandya Parliamentary seat.

An official told News18 that the astrologers have been asked to cover the image of palm till the voting is over. Even though this kind of model code of conduct (MCC) has been strictly enforced only in Mandya Lok Sabha seat so far, astrologers across Karnataka fear that the EC officials may visit them in a day or two.

Sathyanarayana Bhat, an astrologer from Bengaluru told News18 that it would affect their business as the people may not locate their houses or offices without ubiquitous palm or hand symbol.

“It is our trade symbol. Nothing to do with any political party. How can the EC ask us not to use this just because it happens to be the symbol of Congress party? Will the EC pluck all lotuses from the lakes and tanks. Will they ban sale of lotus till the voting is over? We ask EC not to focus on such frivolous things. They should be worried about bigger malpractices like distribution of money and cash” he said.

Milind Dharmasena, a leader of Karnataka Congress has described it as an unnecessary move by the EC. “We respect the Model Code of Conduct (MCC). It is essential to conduct a free and fair elections. But, the EC should be more logical and liberal with these things”, he said.

However, the local EC officials have defended the decision, claiming that images bearing resemblance to symbols of political parties will be removed from public places till the election is over.

"Covering the palm is fine. What about other symbols like lotus, haystack, tractor, bicycle, torch, fan, elephants, hand pumps, conch, two leaves etc? The DMK symbol is rising sun. Can the EC block the sunrise every morning till the election is over?," the astrologers are ask.

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| Edited by: Sumedha Kirti
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