EC: Two leaves symbol goes to EPS-OPS led AIADMK
In a setback to AIADMK's Sasikala-Dhinakaran faction, EC has granted the party's two-leaves symbol to the faction led by CM E Palaniswami (EPS) and deputy CM O Panneerselvam (OPS).
EC's decision comes eight months after the symbol was frozen due to AIADMK's in-fighting.
The Sasikala faction still has the option of approaching the SC.
What is the importance of this symbol? Read on!
OPS-EPS led AIADMK gets two leaves symbol
Why was the symbol frozen?
In December'16, after being hospitalized for over a month, Jayalalithaa died due to cardiac arrest.
Close aide Sasikala appointed Panneerselvam as TN CM. However, he resigned soon after to make way for Sasikala.
Panneerselvam staked claim to the two-leaves symbol. Consequently, with two factions vying for the symbol, EC froze it on March 22.
How did the political equations change?
At the time of the symbol's freezing, CM E Palaniswami was Sasikala's man.
However, later, Dhinakaran faced bribery allegations for influencing EC to give his faction the symbol.
This made Palaniswami re-think his strategy. He approached Panneerselvam for a merger.
After the merger in August, the OPS-EPS faction had filed affidavits before the commission, with signatures of their office-bearers.
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How did the case proceed until now?
On March 22, EC ordered that the party name and the two-leaves symbol can't be used by any faction.
After the OPS-EPS merger, there have been over six hearings at the EC where arguments have revolved around the validity of the affidavits submitted by the OPS-EPS camp.
The EC also missed Madras HC's deadline of October 31 and SC's deadline of November 10.
What is the implication of the EC's order?
With the two-leaves symbol, the OPS-EPS led AIADMK gets the stamp of approval for taking forward Jayalalithaa's legacy as the official AIADMK.
Reports indicate that consistent in-fighting within the party had led to an "existential crisis."
In such a scenario, the two-leaves symbol resonates with the voters and in the absence of a prominent leader "keeps the party going."
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