'Two leaves' symbol case: Dhinakaran alleges Centre's hand in EC order

'Two leaves' symbol case: Dhinakaran alleges Centre's hand in EC order

The EPS-OPS and the Sasikala Natarajan-TTV Dhinakaran factions had been fighting to win back the two-leaves symbol of the AIADMK, which was frozen following the split in the party post the death of J Jayalalithaa past year.

On Thursday, the Election Commission put an end to nearly an year-long dispute between warring factions by allotting the AIADMK's "two leaves" symbol to the Panneerselvam-Palaniswami combine, holding that it enjoyed majority in the party's legislative and organisational wings.

After the freezing of the name and symbol, the party's two factions led by Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam (OPS) came together.

AIADMK's 'two leaves' symbol goes to EPS-OPS faction; another blow to TTV Dhinakaran

Without considering this, the EC was "keen" on blocking the symbol.

The poll panel noted that the Palaniswami-Panneerselvam faction of the AIADMK could prove it had the support of the party's 34 members in the Lok Sabha, eight in the Rajya Sabha, 111 in the Tamil Nadu Assembly and four in the Puducherry Assembly.

"Waiting for the hard copy of the order but have got information from the EC orally that the two leaves symbol has been allotted to us", he said. There can be "no better example to show that the Election Commission did not act neutrally in the matter", he charged.

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The order is a clear setback for Ms Sasikala and her nephew and deputy general secretary T.T.V. Dhinakaran.

"Election Commission has given judgement in our favour, we are very happy".

Dinakaran said that he will contest the R.K. Nagar bypoll and after winning, he will retrieve the party symbol.

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Although the warring factions led by Palaniswami and Panneerselvam merged (the so-called EPS and OPS factions), a fresh crisis erupted after Dhinakaran rebelled against the merged group. They may not enjoy too much goodwill with the man on the street but Sasikala knows a thing or two about the psyche of the AIADMK party worker.

Celebrations started in the EPS-OPS camp on Thursday, November 23 after E Palaniswami told reporters that the Election Commission of India (EC) has finally allotted the two leaves symbol to his faction.

Earlier, Palaniswami, Panneerselvam and other ministers distributed candies to party workers and journalists at the party office.

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