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TTV Dhinakaran had filed a case challenging the decision of the Election Commission which had earlier allocated the symbol to the EPS-OPS faction.

Two-leaves symbol goes to EPS-OPSs AIADMK not TTV rules Delhi HC
news Politics Thursday, February 28, 2019 - 15:09

In a boost to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisami and co ahead of the Lok Sabha Elections, the Delhi High Court ruled that the ‘two-leaves’ symbol belongs to the AIADMK and dismissed TTV Dhinakaran's plea. The order was delivered on Thursday in a case filed by TTV Dhinakaran challenging the decision of the Election Commission to allot the ‘two-leaves’ symbol to the AIADMK.  

The symbol derives historical importance since it associated with former Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu, MG Ramachandran and Jayalalithaa. The battle between TTV Dhinakaran and the AIADMK, represented by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, was essentially seen as a battle for the legacy of Jayalalithaa.

Background

Soon after the death of Jayalalithaa in December 2016, the AIADMK split into two factions -- one led by VK Sasikala, Jayalalithaa’s longtime aide and another faction led by then CM O Panneerselvam. The two factions approached the Election Commission in 2017, seeking the symbol for themselves. In the interim period, Edappadi Palaniswami’s faction and O Panneerselvam’s faction merged but the legal battle continued between TTV Dhinakaran and Edappadi Palaniswami.

In November 2017, the Election Commission ruled in favour of the group led by Edappadi Palaniswami, further acknowledging the branch of the AIADMK led by EPS and OPS as the "real" AIADMK party. The Election Commission also withdrew an order which was in force, freezing the usage of the symbol until the conflict was resolved between the two factions. The Election Commission’s decision stated that the faction led by EPS held the majority in AIADMK's legislative and organisational wings and hence the symbol belonged to them.

TTV Dhinakaran, who was by then estranged from the AIADMK preferred an appeal with the Delhi High Court on the matter. The case dragged on for months, following which the Supreme Court recently ordered the Election Commission to settle the issue if the Delhi High Court does not deliver its verdict within four weeks.

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