New Delhi:The country's most popular sport, cricket, or rather images associated with the game are still up for grabs as elections symbols.
The 'bat' and the 'batsman' - often the first choice of companies for brand endorsements in the advertising field -are among the free symbols available with the Election Commission for use in the poll arena.
The list of free symbols includes mostly man-made items while just four can be classified as naturally occurring - banana, carrot, coconut and maize.
In comparison, there are more than 50 man-made items among the available poll symbols. These include many things used by the human race such as almirah, basket, battery torch, briefcase, camera, coat, comb, cot, cup & saucer, dolli, fork, frock, hat, lady purse, pressure cooker, sewing machine, walking stick and whistle.
Interestingly, the list of poll symbols - both allotted and unallotted - has just three images that represent a human figure.
While batsman is one of them, the others are that of a 'hand' allotted to the Indian National Congress and 'a woman farmer carrying paddy on her head' of Janata Dal (Secular) in Karnataka and Kerala.
Animal symbols are also few and far between and whatever was available has already been allotted to the political parties. Bahujan Samaj Party has got 'elephant' symbol, except for in Assam and Sikkim, while the same symbol has been allotted to Asom Gana Parishad in Assam. Besides, lion has been given to Maharashtrawadi Gomantak in Goa and to All India Forward Bloc in West Bengal.
Among the national parties, BJP has got the naturally occurring 'lotus' as its election symbol, while CPI and CPI (M) have got partly natural and partly man-made symbols. CPI has got 'ears of corn and the sickle,' while CPI (M) has Hammer, Sickle and Star.
Two other national parties, NCP and RJD have man-made items, clock and hurricane lamp, as their respective poll symbols.
The natural things as poll symbols for state parties include 'two leaves' for Kerala Congress (M) in Kerala, 'flowers & grass' for All India Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, 'star' for Mizo National Front and 'sun (without rays)' for Zoram Nationalist Party in Mizoram and 'conch' for Biju Janata Dal.
In Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, 'two leaves' has been allotted to AIADMK, 'rising sun' to DMK and 'mango' to PMK.