The Supreme Court Tuesday declined to accept former AIADMK leader T T V Dhinakaran’s request for ‘pressure cooker’ symbol to contest the forthcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, but directed the Election Commission to allot the group led by him a common symbol “to ensure a level playing field” among the contesting parties.
“The claim of the appellant to the symbol of ‘pressure cooker’ in an exclusive manner cannot be acknowledged in view of the provisions of Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and the guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India thereunder, which the appellant or his group has concededly not followed. We are, therefore, not inclined to grant any recognition to the appellant or his group to the symbol of ‘pressure cooker’,” a bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjeev Khanna ordered.
Section 29A deals with the registration of political parties. The court noted that Dhinakaran’s Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (ANMK) had not registered itself as a political party. Follow more election news here.
Dhinakaran had floated the ANMK after the Delhi High Court recently upheld an Election Commission decision recognising the AIADMK faction led by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E K Palaniswami and former CM O Panneerselvam as the “real” AIADMK party and had allotted it the “two leaves” election symbol, originally held by the AIADMK under the late J Jayalalithaa.
The ANMK is contesting all 39 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu and the lone seat in Puducherry, and will also contest from 19 Assembly seats from the state and union territory.
The SC directed the EC that “to ensure a level playing field to the contesting parties….”, these contesting candidates “be allotted any one particular free symbol”.