The Telegraph
Thursday, December 14, 2017

Sasikala & nephew challenge 'official' tag for Palani AIADMK

First published on 30-Nov-2017

New Delhi, Nov. 30 (PTI): Sidelined AIADMK leaders Sasikala and T.T.V. Dhinakaran on Thursday moved the Delhi High Court against the Election Commission's decision to recognise the AIADMK under Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E.K. Palaniswami as the real party and allowing it to use the 'two leaves' poll symbol.

The plea for urgent hearing was mentioned before a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C. Hari Shankar, which listed it for Friday.

Senior advocate Kirti Uppal, appearing for Sasikala and Dhinakaran, said the commission’s November 23 order was bad in law.

The issue has been lingering since April after the announcement of by-elections to the RK Nagar Assembly seat, vacant since the death in December last year of incumbent J. Jayalalitha, then the Chief Minister and head of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.

The commission had in March barred two factions that had emerged following Jayalalithaa’s death from using the two-leaves symbol.

The by-poll to RK Nagar seat has now been scheduled for December 21, and the 'two leaves' symbol allotted to the unified AIADMK led by Palaniswami and O. Panneerselvam, a Jaya loyalist who was initially in Sasikala’s camp.

The commission’s decision was a setback for Sasikala, Jayalalithaa’s confidante, who had made a bid for power after her mentor’s death but is now in jail on corruption charges.

Sasikala and Dhinakaran, her nephew, were sidelined in the party after the unification of the factions led by Palaniswami and Panneerselvam, who had had been put in the Chief Minister’s chair by Sasikala but fell out with Sasikala later. 

The petitioners also want action against Madhusudhanan, the AIADMK's candidate for RK Nagar, Palaniswami, Panneerselvam and Semmalai, a member of the legislative assembly.

Uppal, who was present along with advocate Amit Anand Tiwari, told the court that the poll panel committed “serious illegalities while arriving at the decision”.

“The EC has treated fabricated and untested material as genuine which has resulted in the hearing being unfair and consequently contrary to the principle of natural justice and therefore the proceedings and the order are void,” the petitioners said.

The EPS-OPS camp won the two-leaves symbol after filing affidavits that backed their claim to the name and symbol.

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