The AIADMK faction led by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E K Palaniswami and party veteran O Panneerselvam on Monday opposed a plea by sidelined leader V K Sasikala’s camp to cross examine some of the party leaders who had filed affidavits in their favour. At the third hearing of the AIADMK symbol case at the Election Commission at New Delhi, the EPS-OPS camp also maintained that the affidavits submitted by them were genuine, sources present during the hearing said.
They said there was no need to call people for cross examination after allegations by the Sasikala camp that fake affidavits were filed in their name. The camp claimed that it was ploy to buy more time and delay the EC’s decision, the sources said.
The hearing remained inconclusive and the commission has called the two sides again on October 30, they said.
The Supreme Court has asked the poll panel to decide the matter by November 10.
In an interim order in March this year, the commission had barred the then rivals–Palaniswami and Panneerselvam–from using the party’s name or its ‘two leaves’ symbol in the R K Nagar Assembly bypoll necessitated due to the demise of sitting lawmaker J Jayalalithaa.
The bypoll, for which the AIADMK had fielded Dhinakaran, was later cancelled due to alleged bribing of voters and is yet to take place.
Prior to the merger, the two factions had staked claim over the symbol. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Palaniswami was then a Sasikala loyalist.
The poll panel had, however, frozen the symbol, pending a decision on their pleas.
Later, a large number of legislators led by Palaniswami revolted against Sasikala, who is now in jail in a disproportionate assets case, and announced the merger of the two factions.
Resolutions ousting Sasikala as interim general secretary and Dhinakaran as her deputy were also adopted at the party’s general council meeting on September 12.
On September 14, representatives of Dhinakaran had approached the EC urging it to declare as invalid the general council meeting, citing a high court order that said any decision taken at the impugned meeting will be subject to the final outcome in the appeal.