Election Commission grants 'two leaves' symbol to unified AIADMK

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Chennai: The Election Commission (EC) on Thursday made a decision to allot the "two leaves" symbol of the AIADMK faction led by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, an AIADMK leader said.

The EPS-OPS and the Sasikala-Dhinakaran factions had been fighting to win back the two leaves symbol of the AIADMK, which was suspended following the split in the party post the death of party supremo J Jayalalithaa past year. They now have the option of approaching the Supreme Court.

"Election Commission did not conduct inquiry in a fair manner". It is being said that the OPS-EPS led faction has been deemed as the "original AIADMK".

The two-leaves symbol was frozen when Mr Panneerselvam who had the support of only about a dozen each MLAs and MPs moved the EC seeking it (in March ahead of the RK Nagar bypoll which was cancelled subsequently), he said referring to the interim order of the commission. We are happy and the party's 1.5 crore members will be happy. We submitted affidavits to prove that a majority of party cadres are with us.

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The EC in its order on Thursday held that the ruling camp enjoys support of majority of members, both in the organisational and legislature wings of the AIADMK. EC was determined to freeze the two leaves symbol. Jayalalithaa's closest friend Sasikala is serving a four-year jail term for corruption, so Sasikala deputed her nephew Dhinakaran as her deputy and her representative in the party. He also claimed that the symbol, the party flag etc should be given to the real AIADMK, which OPS claimed was with him and filed a petition.

Earlier this month, both the warring factions of the All India Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) had submitted to the Election Commission their final arguments in writing laying their claim to the party's symbol. The point is that Dhinakaran and Sasikala belong to the richest faction in the party and have huge money power and will keep fighting.

Palaniswami was with Sasikala and Dinakaran then and replaced Panneerselvam as the chief minister after Sasikala's ascent to the helm of the party.

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