(Image source from: Free press Journal)
TTV Faction Plea Rejected By EC To Freeze “Two Leaves”:- The plea from the Sasikala faction for permanent freezing of the “Two Leaves” symbol was rejected by the Election Commission, at its second hearing on Monday, over the AIADMK symbol war.
After the TTV group challenged the order by the Madurai bench of the Madras high court, the EC was directed by the Supreme Court to settle the dispute by November 10. As per the order, the EC verdict must be out by October 31.
The majority in the AIADMK is on its side, argued former law minister Ashwani Kumar. Sasikala and her deposed nephew TTV Dhinakaran are represented by Kumar. The authenticity of the affidavits filed by was also disputed by Mr. Kumar. O Panneerselvam and E.K. Palaniswami camp, filed the affidavits.
“Unless the authenticity of the affidavits can be determined by the EC, there is no material before the commission to actually decide the matter of the majority support,” he later told reporters.
He further said that not only on the basis of general council members, but the majority support under the party constitution can also be considered on the basis of the support of the primary members.“At the worst, even if all our arguments fail, even then symbol cannot be granted to one faction and it has to be frozen,” he said.
The Sasikala group was slammed by senior AIADMK leader and supporter of the OPS-EPS camp, K.P. Munuswamy for demanding the permanent freezing of the symbol. Munuswamy further said that just because “they are losing the legal battle”, they are doing so.
Counsel for OPS-EPS side and former MP Manoj Pandian after the hearing said, “It is their attempts to delay the hearing process by questioning the authenticity of the affidavits. Despite all this, we are sure to get the symbol.”
The OPS-EPS camp, during the last hearing on October 6, staked claim over the AIADMK and its ‘Two Leaves’ election symbol. It claimed support of a majority of MLAs and party cadre consequent on the coming together of the two leaders. The then rivals - Palaniswami and Panneerselvam were barred by the EC, in an interim order in March this year, from using the party’s name or its symbol in the RK Nagar assembly bypoll necessitated due to the demise of Jayalalithaa.
The AIADMK general council, post the merger, adopted resolutions ousting Sasikala as interim general secretary and Dhinakaran. This move of the council was taken as Sasikala’s deputy TTV camp approached EC on September 14 urging it to declare as invalid the general council meeting. It further cited a high court order that said any decision taken at the impugned meeting will be subject to final outcome in the appeal pending before court.