Hyderabad: The colour pink, which conventionally represents women among certain cultures, has become a subject of controversy in the run-up to the Telangana elections. The Election Commission has attracted flak for having decided to continue the use of pink ballot paper on EVMs carrying the names of candidates for the December 7 Assembly polls.

The Congress said the colour 'gives jitters' to it as the K Chandrasekhar Rao-led Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) uses pink as the party's official colour scheme for all its promotional material. Leaders like KCR always wear a pink scarf around their neck during party functions.

Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) chief spokesperson Dasoju Sravan sarcastically said, "The commission seems to have infected with some pink disease."

Sravan alleged that the EC represented by the deputy chief electoral officer issued orders for printing 90 lakh EVM stickers in pink.

"We openly raised a red flag opposing the introduction of pink ballot paper on EVMs as it would give an undue electoral advantage to the TRS. However, the EC in Telangana has taken no action to stop those violations rather the aforesaid illegal decision is reinforced, ignoring the open plea made by us," he said.

Reacting to the development, chief electoral officer Rajat Kumar said on Monday that the EC has decided to hold the elections with pink-coloured ballot papers on EVMs, but the voter slips would be white in colour, according to the provisions of the Representation of People's Act.

"The Representation of the People Act has to be amended for changing the colour of the EVM stickers," he noted.

However, the TRS has a reason for choosing pink as its party's colour.

TRS MP Vinod Kumar said pink represents peace and love, and in 2001, when a movement was started for a separate Telangana by KCR, they decided to use it for the same reason.

"Those who object using pink EVM ballot papers should go and ask former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. During his time in 1952, it was decided that white would be used for Lok Sabha and pink for Assembly ballot papers," Vinod Kumar said.

The electoral symbol of the TRS is a "car" and is usually drawn on a pink-coloured rectangular party flag.

With PTI inputs