Welcoming the Election Commission of India’s (ECI) move to freeze the Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) election symbol, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) on Thursday said Sasikala Natarajan’s faction had tried to illegally usurp the office of party general secretary.
“The two leaves symbol has been frozen because of the illegal actions of the Sasikala faction. They are power hungry and want to destroy the AIADMK. As per by laws of the AIADMK, a general secretary could be elected only by the primary members of the party, but here they nominated her which is clearly illegal. So the Election Commission has taken cognizance of this fact. The blame should squarely fall on the shoulders of Sasikala faction who tried to usurp the office of AIADMK general secretary in an illegal manner,” DMK leader Sarvanan told ANI.
Terming it as the AIADMK’s internal matter, Sarvanan said the DMK didn’t want to dwell upon it.
“We are very confident that the DMK will emerge victorious irrespective of which symbol the AIADMK candidates are going to contest with. The people have seen how the AIADMK has pushed Tamil Nadu towards devastation. Contrastingly, they have also seen how M.K. Stalin as the leader of the opposition has performed and raised pertinent issues of their welfare. People of the state have seen the stark contrast between an acting leader and the other who are trying to grab and enjoy power,” he added.
The poll panel yesterday decided to freeze the AIADMK election symbol of ‘two leaves’, after representatives of former Tamil Nadu chief minister O. Panneerselvam and Sasikala factions made their claims for it.
“Neither of the two groups shall be permitted to use the symbol ‘Two Leaves’ of the AIADMK,” the Election Commission stated.
The poll panel also asked both the factions to choose a new symbol to contest the current by-polls in R.K. Nagar.
The Election Commission also allowed both factions a further and final opportunity of adducing documents and affidavits latest by April 17.
While the Sasikala faction remained largely unperturbed with the decision, Panneerselvam’s camp begged to differ and said they would fight back.
Earlier on Tuesday, Sasikala-led AIADMK faction filed a petition before the commission staking claim to the party’s symbol.
Panneerselvam-led group had last week claimed that the party symbol rightfully belonged to it as Sasikala’s election as the AIADMK general secretary was ‘invalid and illegal’.
The tussle over party symbol began in view of the by-elections to the R.K. Nagar assembly constituency in Chennai on April 12. The constituency was held by late former chief minister J. Jayalalithaa.