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Decide on AIADMK symbol issue by 31 October, Madras HC tells EC

LiveMint logoLiveMint 15-09-2017 Dharani Thangavelu

Chennai: The Madurai bench of the Madras high court on Friday directed the Election Commission to decide by 31 October which faction of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) would get the party’s disputed ‘two leaves’ symbol.

The court’s direction while hearing a petition filed by A. Ramkumar from Tiruchendur, comes after the Madras high court earlier this month directed the Tamil Nadu State Election Commission (TNSEC) to conduct local body polls by 17 November.

Although the warring factions of the AIADMK united last month, a fresh crisis came up in the party as a group under sidelined deputy general secretary T.T.V. Dhinakaran rebelled. This has further complicated the issue of the party’s symbol.

Meanwhile, Dhinakaran told reporters on Friday that his faction would bring down chief minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami’s government within a week.

The EC decided to freeze the party’s symbol and name in March, following a factional feud between two camps—led by V. K. Sasikala and the then chief minister O.Panneerselvam.

The commission issued an interim order freezing AIADMK’s ‘two leaves’ election symbol, saying the rival camps couldn’t both use the party symbol and name for the R.K. Nagar assembly bypoll, a seat that fell vacant on former chief minister J. Jayalalithaa’s death in December.

The bypoll was rescinded following allegations of cash for vote.

For the by-election, the faction led by Panneerselvam was granted the name AIADMK Puratchi Thalavi Amma with the electric pole as its symbol while the team under Sasikala was given the name AIADMK Amma with a hat symbol.

When the camps decided to come together, Sasikala and her nephew Dhinakaran were sidelined. Led by Palaniswami and deputy chief minister Panneerselvam, the general council sacked Sasikala from her general secretary post on Tuesday. However, Dhinakaran claimed that the council meet was invalid.

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