Sasikala & OPS factions of AIADMK get new party symbols

Putting full-stop to the much hyped AIDMK’s  symbol controversy in Tamil Nadu, the Election Commission of India has allotted Symbols to two rival-factions of AIADMK, freezing the party’s original two-leaf symbol.

Chennai: AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala releases manifesto of party founder the late M G Ramachandran on his 100th birth anniversary celebration, at party headquarters in Chennai, Jan 17, 2016. Photo - PTI

Chennai: AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala releases manifesto of party founder the late M G Ramachandran on his 100th birth anniversary celebration, at party headquarters in Chennai, Jan 17, 2016.
Photo – PTI

As per the announcement made by the EC on Thursday, the AIADMK faction led by former Tamil Nadu CM O Panneerselvam will be referred as ‘AIADMK Puratchi Thalaivi Amma’ in and will fight the coming Radhakrishnan Nagar bypoll with the ‘electricity pole’ symbol.

Jailed AIADMK leader Sasikala faction will be referred to as ‘AIADMK Amma’ and will fight the bypoll with the ‘hat’ symbol.

EC made its decision after meeting with representations from both factions, that are warring over the legacy of the AIADMK’s former supremo, J Jayalalithaa.

The announcement comes on the last day for the filing of nominations for the election.

Both the factions of the AIADMK expressed shock over the Election Commission freezing the party’s election symbol of ‘two leaves’ and said they will make all efforts to retrieve it.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam leaves after attending the party's MLA's meeting, AIADMK General Secretary V K Sasikala elected as a AIADMK Legislative party leader, set to become Tamil Nadu CM, at Party's Headquarters in Chennai on 05 February 2017.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam leaves after attending the party’s MLA’s meeting, AIADMK General Secretary V K Sasikala elected as a AIADMK Legislative party leader, set to become Tamil Nadu CM, at Party’s Headquarters in Chennai on 05 February 2017.

Former Tamil Nadu chief minister O Panneerselvam in a statement said it was “shocking and disappointing” that his party didn’t get the symbol despite submitting “strong evidence” to the EC and that they would get it back “at any cost”.

The bypoll assumes significance, considering it was the seat of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa till her death in December 2016. This would make it an important perception marker in the battle for her legacy.

This would also be the first time a section of the public would be able to have its say in the battle between the OPS and Sasikala factions.

Sasikala faction is fielding her nephew TTV Dinakaran, while the OPS faction is fielding veteran party leader E Madhusudhanan.

Polling is set for April 12 and the counting of votes is to take place on April 15.