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AIADMK’s last fight over the symbol of “two leaves”


For AIADMK, the timing of the battle between the camps of O Panneerselvam and Edappadi K Palaniswami, which cast doubt on who can use the symbol of the “two leaves”, could not be worse with by-elections for 510 Tamil Nadu local body seats on departure

The latest development in the struggle in two camps of the Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) came on Monday with the Supreme Court declaring that it could hear on July 6 a plea filed by Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) challenging the order of Madras High Court suspending the adoption of any unannounced resolution at the meeting of the General and Executive Councils of AIADMK regarding the issue of the single leadership of the party.

Let’s take a closer look at the impact of the battle on the “two leaves” symbol on the AIADMK, look at the history of the symbol and what might happen next:

How does this affect AIADMK?

The war between the O Panneerselvam (OPS) and Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) groups has cast doubt on who can use the party’s ‘two-leaf’ symbol.

File image of O Panneerselvam. PTI

The timing couldn’t be worse – with by-elections for 510 seats that have fallen vacant in rural and urban local bodies, 34 of which can be contested under party symbols, due to be held on July 9.

The row means AIADMK candidates will have to run as independents in the by-election until a resolution is reached between the two camps.

According to the AIADMK party statutes, the authority to award the party symbol to a candidate rests with the General Secretary, who must sign Forms A and B.

“This is the first time in the history of AIADMK that a leader has declared that he will not sign candidates’ A and B forms. This is the first time that party candidates have lost their symbol” at two leaves”, which is close to their hearts… Our cadres will soon teach this leader a good lesson,” said AIADMK Chief JCT Prabhakar from the PAHO camp. The Federal.

However, the leader, Semmalai of the EPS team, said that since the party has not officially announced any candidates for these partial polls, the non-use of the “two-leaf” symbol will not arise.

“The ‘two-leaf’ symbol will only be given to candidates when they are officially announced by the party. Regarding this by-election, the party has not announced any candidate. But he also did not say that cadres should not participate in these elections. The party did not announce the candidates because the post of coordinator and coordinator ceased,” he said.

AIADMK’s last fight over the symbol of “two leaves”

Archive image by K Palaniswami. PTI

Also in the past, the AIADMK has avoided actively participating in partial polls and this does not affect the party in any way, he added.

What are the possible consequences?

This, coming at a time when the BJP is desperately trying to make inroads into Tamil Nadu and project itself as an alternative AIADMK (and main opposition party to the DMK), could prove disastrous for the party as it would weaken its cadre base in rural areas, according to The Federal.

Why is the symbol so important?

Leaving aside instant voter recognition, retai ellai or “two-leaf” USP is how easily it can be represented with just a few fingers, said Subburaman Thirunavukkarasar, an AICC secretary who was part of the Jaya faction of the AIADMK in the late 1980s. Indian Express.

“It’s like a sign of victory,” Thirunavukkarasar said.

“Even the DMK symbol of the rising sun is easy to show with the fingers spread like a fan.”

story of fight

Meanwhile, ousted AIADMK leader VS Sasikala, a close associate of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, continued to attack the party leadership.

According India timeSasikala said the party needs a single leadership determined by party cadres and the people, not muscle and financial power.

Sasikala made the remarks during the second leg of what she calls her “revolutionary journey” which started in suburban Chennai and covered surrounding areas on Sunday. “

AIADMK’s last fight over the symbol of “two leaves”

Ousted AIADMK leader VK Sasikala. PTI

“AIADMK is a party that has ruled the state seven times in 50 years and has touched people with its outstanding projects. It is sad that the cadres could not contest 34 vacancies in the urban local bodies under the symbol of the “two leaves”, because of the selfishness of some people,” she told Poonamallee.

“The AIADMK leadership needs a specific character who will embrace cadres and people, regardless of caste or creed. I believe I can lead the party to its past glory,” Sasikala told the newspaper.

Interestingly, Sasikala herself was at the center of the previous fight for the symbol in 2017 with OPS, according to News18.

This led to the EC freezing the symbol and RK Nagar’s 2017 proxy polls were placed under two new party names and symbols.

The faction led by Panneerselvam was given the ‘electric pole’ as their election symbol and named the AIADMK Puratchi Thalavi Amma, while the Sasikala team decided to go with the name AIADMK Amma and were given the ‘hat ” for a symbol, according to the report.

In 1991, the “two leaf” symbol was similarly claimed by two factions, one led by former Assembly Speaker PH Pandian, a staunch AIADMK follower, and the other by Thirunavukkarasar, a former MG Ramachandran cabinet minister and now Congress leader, as per News18.

Both approached the EC for the symbol, but were rejected out of hand.

AIADMK’s last fight over the symbol of “two leaves”

File photo of late AIADMK leader J Jayalalithaa. PTI

Perhaps the most publicized battle took place in 1987 after the death of MGR with his wife Janaki taking on his protege J Jayalalithaa, according to News18.

After the two women approached the EC to claim the right to use the symbol, the polling body did not rule in favor of either of them.

Once again, the polling body assigned the two distinct election symbols as Tamil Nadu went to the polls.

Janaki’s faction received the “two doves” symbol, while Jayalalithaa received the “crowing rooster” symbol. Janaki’s side won only two seats, while Jayalalithaa won 27.

Janaki then retired from politics, leaving the party unified under Jayalalithaa. The EC restored the “two leaf” symbol to its party which was now called AIADMK, according to the report.

What the SC said

A vacation bench consisting of Justices Indira Banerjee and JK Maheshwari said they would hear the plea on July 6 subject to permission given by Chief Justice NV Ramana.

Lead Solicitor CS Vaidyanathan, representing the EPS faction, mentioned the urgent registration issue, saying that the High Court Division Bench held an extraordinary sitting after midnight and passed the order at 4 a.m. morning June 23.

He said the High Court’s order prohibiting the party from taking any unannounced resolution interferes with the internal workings of a political party.

AIADMK’s last fight over the symbol of “two leaves”

Supreme Court of India. ANI

Vaidyanathan said contempt motions have been filed in the High Court alleging breach of the interim order, which is due to be heard on Monday.

The barrister appearing in a caution for the umbrella faction of the O Panneerselvam party opposed the urgent registration request saying it was an interim order and the High Court is still seized of the case.

He said the ordinance was passed in an original lawsuit, which is still pending in the high court, and contempt motions have been filed as there was a breach of the guidelines at general and executive council meetings.

The panel ordered that the case be entered on the trial list on July 6 subject to the authorization given by the CJI.

What the high court said

On June 23, the Madras High Court ruled that no unannounced resolution could be taken at the AIADMK General and Executive Council meeting here, preventing the camp headed by Joint EPS Coordinator from initiating such a approach to the possible question of single leadership. .

The meeting of the general council of the main opposition Tamil Nadu party, its highest decision-making body, and the executive was held on June 23.

In a late-night hearing that lasted until early June 23, a special division bench had awarded reparation to party coordinator O Panneerselvam (OPS) in a special session held at the residence of the senior judge to Anna Nagar in the city, on an appeal against a single judge’s decision.

He had declared that the meeting could take place as planned and that the 23 resolutions already decided could be resumed and adopted.

AIADMK’s last fight over the symbol of “two leaves”

Madras High Court: PTI

No further new resolutions relating to the amendment of the party statutes to abolish the posts of coordinator and joint coordinator and the reinstatement of the post of general secretary to pave the way for a single leadership will be passed, the High Court said.

Earlier at around 9 p.m. on June 22, a single-judge bench of the High Court in its brief order allowed the meeting to proceed but refrained from preventing the EPS group from taking any further new resolutions, which would result in ultimately to unitary leadership.

The aggrieved group led by PAHO met with Chief Justice of the High Court MN Bhandari after the Single Judge’s order was issued and obtained his permission to appeal against the order.

The Chief Justice constituted a bench consisting of Justices M Duraiswamy and Sundar Mohan as judges to hold a special sitting and hear the appeal.

As a result, the bench sat down at the senior judge’s residence and began hearing at around 1 a.m. on June 23 and issued its orders at around 4 a.m., which effectively led to joy and jubilation in the SPO camp.

AIADMK’s internal rumblings over the single leadership issue, with a majority of district secretaries and others favoring the EPS to take up the torch, had prompted Panneerselvam (OPS) to write to the elder asking the postponement of the meeting, even as speculation abounded that the GC and EC might discuss the matter to affect unitary leadership.

On June 23, the meeting was held in chaos and the General Council of the AIADMK announced that the one and only request of the members of the GC is to introduce a single leadership system for the party, in favor of the coordinator EPS spouse.

The executive and general council meeting held together saw the EPS become the supreme leader and he was honored with a decorated crown, sword and scepter by his followers. The EPS colleague and OPS coordinator was apparently snubbed during the meeting and rude slogans were shouted at him.

With contributions from agencies

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