Since the two former factions led by EPS and OPS had reunited, the embargo on the symbol and name need not continue, the petition stated.

Restore Two Leaves symbol and party name Unified AIADMK petitions Election Commission
news Politics Friday, September 22, 2017 - 17:04

A month after the Edappadi Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam factions shook hands and made up, the unified AIADMK has gone to the Election Commission to reclaim the Two Leaves symbol and the party name.

The AIADMK submitted a petition to the Election Commission on Friday, requesting it to restore the party’s election symbol and name, and stating that all previous affidavits filed by the two former factions are being withdrawn.

“The AIADMK is now functioning as one party with the two groups having unified. Therefore, there can be no embargo now on the use of the Two Leaves symbol allotted to the party AIADMK,” stated the petition.

The Election Commission will begin its hearings on the issue on October 5. This comes after the Madras High Court ordered Election Commission to take a decision on the Two Leaves symbol by October 31.

The Election Commission had frozen the symbol ahead of the RK Nagar bye-polls that were scheduled to take place in March, after both factions had staked claim to the party symbol in February.

The two factions had submitted about 10 lakh affidavits to the Election Commission, to demonstrate their respective claims for the symbol, which have not yet been reviewed. “Accordingly, the petitioners and the respondents from the two erstwhile groups withdraw all the supporting affidavits filed by the party cadre,” stated the petition.

The petition also stated that any decisions taken or representations given by former General Secretary VK Sasikala were nullified based on the decision taken at the General Council meeting on September 12. “The General Council, the principle law-making body of the party, which had appointed Mrs. VK Sasikala as the General Secretary on 29.12.2016 had itself cancelled the same as being void and had also set at naught all the appointments and removals made by her from 29.12. 2016 to 15.02.2017. All the decisions and representatives given by her also stand nullified,” read the petition.

The petition also stated that the party’s submissions in support of Sasikala’s appointment as Interim General Secretary were irrelevant as late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had been appointed Eternal General Secretary by the party General Council. The EPS faction had earlier made these submissions because the OPS faction had challenged Sasikala’s appointment.

“… since Idaya Deivam Puratchi Thalaivi Amma had had been recognized as the Eternal General Secretary and the post has been abolished by creating Co-ordinator and Joint Co-ordinator in the General Council meeting, the second relief in so far as challenge of Smt VK Sasikala’s appointment as General Secretary does not arise for consideration.”

Even as the unified AIADMK staked claim to the party name and symbol, however, supporters of ousted Deputy General Secretary TTV Dhinakaran approached the EC to ask that the September 12 General Council meeting be declared invalid.

Five MPs supporting TTV met the EC and submitted a memorandum that stated that VK Sasikala was still the Interim General Secretary of the party pending a judgement from the Madras High Court, and affidavits submitted in her favour could not be withdrawn.

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