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EC grants 'Two Leaves' Symbol to EPS-OPS faction of AIADMK, blow for Sasikala camp

The decision comes two days after the Madras High Court directed the Election Commission to conduct the by-poll to late Jayalalithaa's RK Nagar constituency before December 31. 

Published: 23rd November 2017 01:47 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd November 2017 03:59 PM   |  A+A-

AIADMK party men celebrate at the party headquarters on Thursday in Chennai. (Express Photo Service | P Jawahar)

AIADMK party men celebrate at the party headquarters on Thursday in Chennai. (Express Photo Service | P Jawahar)

By PTI

CHENNAI: The Election Commission on Thursday recognised the faction led by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edapaddi K Palaniswami and Deputy CM O Panneeerselvam as the real AIADMK and allotted two leaves symbol to them. 

Palaniswami described the development as a "welcome step" and the happiest day for the party.

The AIADMK workers broke into celebration by bursting crackers and distributing sweets in front of the party headquarters here.

The EC in its 83-page order said that majority of the office bearers including MPs and MLAs are with the ruling faction of the AIADMK.

READ THE FULL ORDER BELOW: 

“The Commission is of the considered opinion that the petitioners' group led by E Madhusudhanan, O Panneerselvam and S Semmalai and also supported presently by the impleading applicant Edappadi K Palaniswami, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, enjoys the support of a majority of members, both in the organisational and legislative wings of the AIADMK.  Accordingly, the group led by Madhusudhanan and others is hereby recognised, in terms of Election Symbols Order, 1968," the EC order said. 

The EC also withdrew its order dated March 22, freezing the two leaves symbol and the name of the party. 

The development is a setback to the deposed party leader VK Sasikala, who is currently serving her term in a Bengaluru jail in a disproportionate assets case, besides her nephew and sidelined deputy general secretary TTV Dhinakaran.Palaniswami told reporters here that their faction had provided all the necessary documents and affidavits to prove that it had the claim for it on its majority strength in various party fora.

The issue has been lingering since April in the aftermath of the announcement of by-poll to RK Nagar Assembly constituency here.

However, the April 12 by-election was cancelled days ahead on allegations of use of money power and malpractices.

The EC had then frozen the AIADMK party name and its symbol after then factions had staked claim over it.

Panneerselvam, who first revolted against Sasikala, later merged his faction with the one led by Palaniswami after the latter rebelled against her.

(With ENS inputs)



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