EPS-OPS Win Battle for AIADMK’s Two Leaves Symbol

This decision comes eight months after the EC freezed the symbol.

2 min read
Image used for representational purposes. 

In a massive victory for the ruling faction of the AIADMK party, the Election Commission on Thursday announced that the party’s two leave symbol would be assigned to the merged EPS-OPS camp.

This decision comes eight months after the EC freezed the symbol.

It also comes after EC heard arguments from the two factions of the AIADMK – one led by Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami and his Deputy O Panneerselvam and the other led by ousted leader VK Sasikala.

After EC’s announcement, Chief Minister E Palaniswami expressed his happiness, thanking the party workers for their support. EPS also denied allegations that they were awarded the symbol wing to their proximity to BJP.

We had facts on our side and majority of MLAs, MPs and party workers were with us. All this was taken into consideration.

The Election Commission, in its order, said, “The group led by E Madhusudhanan (EPS-OPS faction) will be entitled to use the name of the party 'AIADMK' and its reserved symbol 'two leaves'”.

E Madhusudhanan is the presidium chairman of the AIADMK party.

Speaking to The News Minute, V Maitreyan, senior AIADMK leader said,

It’s a historic day. We’re the only party to have reclaimed the party symbol twice. In 1989, we lost the symbol after MGR’s death, and we got it back under the leadership of Jayalalithaa. Now, we’re very happy that we have got the symbol again. A large number of party cadre are supporting EPS and OPS.
Maitreyan, senior AIADMK leader and MP from the EPS-OPS camp

The Sasikala-TTV Dhinakaran faction now has the option of approaching the Supreme Court.

Thousands of affidavits have been filed by both camps, staking claim to the party symbol.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had ordered the EC to decide on the two leaves symbol case by 10 November. This after Dhinakaran had sought to extend the deadline over settling the dispute.

The Madras High Court had in September directed the Commission to settle the two leaves symbol row and set a deadline of 31 October.

Meanwhile, the EC is yet to decide upon the validity of VK Sasikala’s appointment as General Secretary of the party. Her appointment had been challenged by the OPS faction in February.

Following former CM O Panneerselvam’s rebellion, the Election Commission had on 22 March frozen the two leaves symbol ahead of the RK Nagar bye-elections, which was later scrapped over allegations of voter bribery. In its March order, the EC had barred the use of the name of the party – All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the two leaves symbol.

In August, however, the OPS faction merged with EPS’s side and have together filed affidavits before the Commission with the signature of office bearers.

(This article was originally published in The News Minute.)

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