The Supreme Court Friday issued notice to the Election Commission of India (ECI) over a plea filed by TTV Dhinakaran against the Delhi High Court granting the two-leaves symbol to AIADMK faction led by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E K Palaniswami and former CM O Paneerselvam.
The High Court had on February 28 upheld the November 23, 2017 decision of ECI allotting the ‘two-leaves’ symbol to the EPS-OPS faction. Upholding the decision, the bench of Justices G S Sistani and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal had said, “We find no infirmity in the decision of the Commission applying the test of a majority to the organisational and legislative wings of the party.” Click here for more election news
After party supremo J Jayalalithaa’s death on December 5, 2016, the AIADMK had split into two factions. The group led by Panneerselvam and Palaniswami had joined hands to oust Dhinakaran and Sasikala from the party.
The EC allotted the ‘two-leaves’ symbol to the group led by Palaniswami and Panneerselvam on the ground that they enjoyed the support of the majority of members in the legislative and organisational wings. Dhinakaran and Sasikala had then moved the Delhi High Court. Earlier that year, both factions of the party — then led by Sasikala-Dhinakaran-EPS and OPS — had staked claim to the AIADMK’s iconic two-leaves election symbol, leading the EC to freeze the symbol.
Before 2017, the two-leaves symbol had been frozen once earlier — in December 1988 — at the time of another crisis and split in the AIADMK after the death of M G Ramachandran. For the elections of January 1989, the faction led by MGR’s widow Janaki Ramachandran was assigned two doves while the Jayalalithaa group had got the rooster.
With the dates of the Lok Sabha elections now released, the two factions are keen to get the popular symbol.