AIADMK factions get new names, hat and electric pole symbol for RK Nagar bypoll
The election commission allotted new names and symbols to two warring factions of Tamil Nadu’s ruling party AIADMK on Thursday for the bypoll in prestigious RK Nagar assembly constituency of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa.india Updated: Mar 31, 2017 23:26 IST
The election commission allotted new names and symbols to two warring factions of Tamil Nadu’s ruling party AIADMK on Thursday for the bypoll in prestigious RK Nagar assembly constituency of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa.
On Wednesday, the election commission had barred the rival factions from using the party name and iconic two-leaves symbol in the bypoll.
The faction led by former chief minister O Panneerselvam will contest the April 12 bypoll under the name of AIADMK Puratchi Thalaivi Amma (Revolutionary Leader Amma, a reference to late Jayalalithaa) with electric pole as its symbol. The rival TTV Dhinakaran led faction, which owes allegiance to jailed Jayalalithaa confidante VK Sasikala, will contest under the name AIADMK Amma and hat symbol.
A few analysts insisted the electric pole symbol’s resemblance to the “Irattai Ilai” (two leaves), though flimsy, would bolster the chances of the Panneerselvam camp candidate, E Madhusudhanan. He is up against AIADMK deputy general secretary Dhinakaran, who is Sasikala’s nephew.
After the election commission froze the two-leaves symbol, both factions submitted their new names to the poll panel and chose the symbols from a list of free symbols. The election commission had said the groups could choose names showing linkage with their parent party. A precedent exists of name being used with a suffix.
This is the second time in the history of the AIADMK that its two leaves symbol has been frozen. The first was shortly after the death of party founder MG Ramachandran, when the AIADMK split into two factions: one led by his wife Janaki and the other by Jayalalithaa.
This is the latest episode in a bruising fight for the legacy of Jayalalithaa, who died in December last year. Sasikala, a long-time companion of the former CM, was named as her successor by the party but days before her anointment, Panneerselvam revolted against her.
The dispute was followed by weeks of drama where scores of legislators were held at a private resort, ministers switched sides and finally a floor test, which was won easily by Sasikala’s pick and current chief minister EK Palaniswami.