Indian political party election symbols from 1951: When Congress had bullocks and the hand was Forward Bloc’s

I just can’t seem to get over my fascination over Indian election symbols. And there are more posts to follow on this theme, here on Cutting the Chai (Also see: An alphabet chart of Indian political party symbols).

Before the elections to India’s first Lok Sabha, back in 1951, the Election Commission (as it still does) released a list of approved elections symbols for different political parties. These 14 symbols show how much Indian politics has changed over the last six decades. The hand symbol that is now almost synonymous with the Indian National Congress was then assigned to the Forward Bloc (Ruikar Group) and Congress’ election symbol was two bulls with yoke on. CPI is the only national party whose symbol remains unchanged.

Indian political party election symbols from the first Lok Sabha elections held in 1951

In the 1951 General Elections there were 14 national parties (now there are only 6) and their symbols showcased in this chart.

Parties and the election symbols:

  1. All India Bhartiya Jan Sangh – Lamp
  2. Bolshevik Party of India – Star
  3. Communist Party of India – Ears of corn and a sickle
  4. Forward Bloc (Marxist Group) – Standing lion
  5. Forward Bloc (Ruikar Group) – Human hand
  6. Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha – Horse and rider
  7. Indian National Congress – Yoked oxen (at some places also referred to as bulls, but then there is a difference between a bull and an ox/bullock)
  8. Krishikar Lok Party – A cultivator winnowing grain
  9. Kisan Mazdoor Praja Party – Hut
  10. Revolutionary Communist Party of India – Flaming torch
  11. Akhil Bharatiya Ram Rajya Parishad – Rising sun
  12. Revolutionary Socialist Party – Spade and stoker
  13. All India Scheduled Caste Federation – Elephant
  14. Socialist Party – Tree