OPS says ready to sign forms for ‘two leaves’, EPS rejects offer

If tussle between leaders continues local body candidates will have to contest as independents

Published: 30th June 2022 05:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th June 2022 05:39 AM   |  A+A-

Edappadi K Palaniswami (right) and O Panneerselvam

Edappadi K Palaniswami (right) and O Panneerselvam. (File Photo | Ashwin Prasath, EPS)

By Express News Service

CHENNAI/MADURAI: Even as the legal battle between O Panneerselvam and Edappadi K Palaniswami is going on, OPS, on Wednesday night, wrote a letter to Palaniswami requesting the latter to send Forms A and B for party candidates who would be contesting in the ensuing by-elections to the local body posts so that they can contest under the two-Leaves symbol. However, Palaniswami refused to accept the letter.  

Talking to TNIE, N Pasupathi, counsel for OPS, said “Panneerselvam is worried that AIADMK candidates would be forced to contest as independents in the ensuing elections if the required forms are not signed by both coordinator and joint-coordinator.”

“When we approached the State Election Commission, it said the required forms for allotting the two-leaves symbol would be accepted at 3 pm on Thursday. OPS wished that candidates should not contest as independents but EPS has rejected his request,” he added.

If the tussle over the single leadership doesn’t get solved, party members would have to contest in the upcoming casual local body elections as independent candidates without the two-leaves symbol, owing to the AIADMK not issuing them authorisation letters.

Every candidate, while filing a nomination for election, has to submit an authorisation from the party they represent. During previous elections, the authorisation was provided by top party leaders, or the leaders permitted respective district secretaries to authorise the candidates, said an AIADMK district secretary. However, neither Edappadi K Palaniswami nor O Panneerselvam has provided candidate authorisation for the upcoming elections. The last date to file nominations was June 27.

An election tahsildar told TNIE that though some candidates mentioned AIADMK in their nominations, the two-leaves symbol could not be assigned to them as the authorisation was missing. In this situation, the party functionaries have urged the State leaders to resolve the single leadership issue at the earliest.
One of the AIADMK members said the district functionaries encouraged him to enter the fray. “But now, I have to contest as an independent candidate and this is creating confusion among the cadre,” he said.

Another candidate said the local body elections depended more on the candidate’s popularity than the party tag. Nevertheless, the leaders are not showing much interest in the local body bypolls, due to the internal issues in the party, he added.

The casual local body election is scheduled for July 9 in one ward in a municipality, four wards in two town panchayats, and six wards in panchayat unions in the southern districts (excluding village panchayat ward members and village panchayat presidents posts). The vote counting is slated for July 12.


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