The Janata Dal-United (JD-U) is mulling a change in its election symbol, said Bihar Chief Minister and party leader Nitish Kumar on Thursday.
Its current election symbol is an arrow, which the party feels is often confused by the electorate with the election symbols of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and the Shiv Sena (SS), both of which also have the bow with the arrow.
While Nitish said the party would ask the Election Commission of India – which allots poll symbols to political outfits – to give it the wheel, party spokesperson Neeraj Kumar told IBTimes India that the change was still in the planning stage, and the alternative symbol had not been zeroed in upon as yet.
The wheel was the symbol of the Janata Dal before it split into the JD-U and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S).
Neeraj Kumar told IBTimes India the change was being mulled primarily because there was confusion among voters over party symbols, which resulted in the many of them voting for the SS or the JMM instead of the JD-U. He also said this became an issue right from the General Elections in 2014, when the party performed poorly.
"This was quite evident in the recently-concluded Bihar Assembly elections. The confusion resulted in the JD-U getting fewer votes. If those votes had come our way, we could have wrested at least another 25-30 seats from the BJP," said Neeraj.
The JD-U had contested 101 of the 243 Assembly seats in Bihar, and won 71 of them.
The JD-U spokesperson also said a change in the election symbol could also boost the party's prospects in future Assembly elections that it wishes to contest in, like the ones coming up in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.
However, he added that the change in symbol was only at the mulling-over stage, and nothing concrete had been decided yet.