AIADMK Divided Into Two; Sasikala Gets Hat, Panneerselvam Reserves Electricity Pole

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Panneerselvam-led group had last week claimed that the party symbol rightfully belonged to it as Sasikala's election as the AIADMK general secretary was "invalid and illegal".

"The candidate carries more value than the symbol, and having Madhusudhanan representing us from RK Nagar our victory is assured".

Finally, it has been decided that the Shashikala wing would call themselves "AIADMK Amma", while the Panneerselvam faction will be named as "AIADMK Puratchi Thalaivi Amma".

The EC has asked both the groups to choose names they should be known by during the byelection, but allowed the rival factions to choose names that would show linkage to the AIADMK. Panneerselvam's faction has chosen the "Electric Pole", which has resemblance to the "Two Leaves".

Both the sides have approached Election Commission of India for the Two Leaves symbol.

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam has announced N Maruthuganesh as its candidate for the April 12 bypoll.

"In an interim order on Wednesday night, the Election Commission froze the 'Two Leaves" symbol of the now divided AIADMK and ruled that neither faction will use the original party name in the by-election. The hat, he said, is the symbol of party founder MG Ramachandran.

The faction also, inter alia, sought a direction allotting the reserved symbol of the AIADMK to their group.

Pandiarajan said that it was not long ago that Chennai corporation converted all the lamps in city into the two lamps model, and that coupled with RK Nagar being an urban constituency has made their job familiarising the twin lamps easy.

The OPS faction said Dinakaran's conviction in a Foreign Exchange Regulation Act case has also been brought to the notice of the ECI. The petitioner contended that the rank and file of the party was supporting them and it is merely the legislature wing of the party, a "minuscule" faction, which is supporting the ruling faction. Under the party constitution, anyone aspiring for the post needs to be a member for five continuous years, which Sasikala is not. Sasikala was appointed the interim General Secretary late a year ago in a unanimous resolution adopted by the party at its General Council meeting.

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