EPS-OPS factions’ affidavits of support obtained by coercion: Dhinakaran faction demands cross-examination
The TTV Dhinakaran faction of the AIADMK on Monday urged the Election Commission to allow it to cross examine the affidavits of support filed by the E Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam (EPS-OPS) faction and also filed a petition asking for criminal proceedings against the rival faction for allegedly furnishing "fabricated documents" in their favour.
Dhinakaran had on October 3 filed a petition for cross examination of the affidavits of support submitted by the ruling EPS-OPS faction, arguing that they have been obtained under coercion.
However, as the EC resumed hearing in the 'two leaves' symbol case of the AIADMK, the EPS-OPS faction said the other side was resorting to such tactics in order to delay the judgment in the case and added that Dhinakaran has no support of party MLAs or MPs.
"Today we argued on the petition submitted earlier by Mr. Dhinakaran for cross-examination of affidavits submitted by them. Today he also filed petition for taking cognisance under Section 195 of the CrPc for filing fabricated documents," Dhinakaran's lawyer Raja Senthoor Pandian told reporters after the hearing.
He claimed that they have with them at least six persons "who are ready to prove those affidavits were obtained by force, coercion and undue influence", but the other side objected to these persons' cross examination.
He said the Madras High Court has given a stay order for the EC pertaining to the 18 disqualified MLAs that "there should not be any notification for vacancies".
On the other hand, the EPS-OPS faction argued that they have already submitted 1,877 affidavits of support but the other side has not submitted any.
"They have not submitted a single affidavit so far. Instead of submitting their own affidavits, they are trying to find out some small mistake here and there. Their entire attempt is to delay and derail the proceedings. Their lawyer said that the EC should freeze the symbol, which is contrary to the emotions and sentiments of the cadre," AIADMK Rajya Sabha MP V. Maitreyan said.
Meanwhile, sources said that during the hearing the two sides had a heated argument exchange so much so that at one point the hearing had to be stopped for close to 15 minutes.
In another related development, Deepa Jayakumar, the niece of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, submitted through her lawyer that she represents the "real" AIADMK and thus the two leaves symbol should be allotted to her.
Her lawyer said that one of the lawyers "mistakenly" said after the last hearing that she was withdrawing.