AIADMK (Amma) faction leader T T V Dhinakaran Tuesday moved the Madras High Court bench here seeking extension of the deadline set by it for the Election Commission to decide the party’s symbol dispute case from October 31 to February 28 next year.
The Court had last month directed the EC to decide which faction enjoyed majority support in the ruling party in Tamil Nadu and allot the symbol to it before October 31. Dhinkaran, in his impleading petition today, also sought a direction to the EC not to enlarge the scope of the dispute under its adjudication. It said sufficient opportunity should be provided to the contending parties to effectively adduce evidence to back their contentions, file replies and rebuttal in case fresh affidavits are to be submitted.
He contended that on September 21, the EC had sought fresh submissions by the rival factions, duly supported by affidavits, before September 29. There was no need for fresh submissions as already a seven lakh-page affidavit had been submitted to the EC, he said. Dhinakaran claimed he had the support of 102 MLAs, 37 MPs and 1,912 general council and central executive committee members.
He submitted that the latest EC direction for fresh submission would only enhance the scope of the dispute and the poll panel would not be able to decide the matter before October 31 given the huge volumes of documents presented to it. Hence he sought extension of the deadline set by the court in its Septemeber 15 order, passed on a petition by Ramkumar Adityan, an AIADMK member and advocate.
Adityan had sought a direction to conduct an election involving the members of the party’s general council, executive committtee, MLAs and MPs, totalling about 3,100 people, to decide which camp had the majority. The petition was filed on August 22, a day after the two factions led by Chief Minister K Palaniswami and his predecessor O Panneerselvam merged, sidelining jailed party chief V K Sasikala and her deputy T T V Dhinakaran.
The Election Commission had no March 23 issued an interim order, freezing the two leaves election symbol of AIADMK. On September 28, the EC had rejected Dhinakaran’s plea to grant 15 days more to submit affidavits in the symbol dispute case and said the hearing would take place on October 6 as scheduled.