The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has moved the Delhi High Court seeking an order setting aside the Election Commission's decision to register a new political party – Aapki Apni Party (People) which sounds similar to it and also has the same acronym.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has a problem, and it has to do with AAP, the namesake of his political party. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has moved the Delhi High Court seeking an order setting aside the Election Commission’s decision to register a new political party – Aapki Apni Party (People) which sounds similar to it and also has the same acronym.
A report in The Indian Express said that Justice Siddharth Mridul on Thursday issued notices to both the poll body and AAP(P) and posted the matter for further hearing on November 13.
It said that the AAP had filed its objection with the Election Commission against its decision but the poll body on July 16 rejected Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP’s argument and recognised the Aapki Apni Party (People) as a political party under the provisions of the Representation of People Act.
In its plea filed by advocate Anupam Srivastava, AAP claimed that the newly registered political party will lead to confusion among the electorate and thus dampen the winning prospects of its candidates in the elections. Therefore, the party said that a direction be given to the Election Commission to de-register the newly floated party.
The AAP also argued that the registration of Aapki Apni Party (Peoples) is contrary to the Election Commission’s own May 2014 order that held that the name of new political parties should not be similar to the existing ones.
After hearing the AAP’s argument, the High Court issued notices to the Election Commission and Aapki Apni Party and posted the matter for further hearing on November 13.
Notably, during the 2013 Assembly polls in Delhi, the AAP had complained to the Election Commission that similarity in symbols of the AAP – ‘Broom’ and several independent candidates like ‘Torch’ had caused a confusion among the voters and many of AAP candidates had lost elections. Also, it was reported that there were several candidates whose names were similar to the names of AAP’s nominees in 2013. Later, the EC had removed the ‘Torch’ symbol from the ‘free list’ of symbols.