The O Panneerselvam camp of the AIADMK has claimed that at least 32,000 affidavits with signatures of close to 53 lakh supporters have been submitted so far. These affidavits filed by office bearers have extended support to Panneerselvam as their leader.
Panneerselvam who is currently on a statewide tour to consolidate support ahead of the local body polls is seen addressing massive gathering these days. Both factions of the AIADMK have been given time until June 16 by the Election Commission of India to file the documents and affidavits by which they propose to prove their numerical strength in the organisational wing of the party.
The Panneerselvam camp has claimed that on Friday alone 12,600 affidavits were submitted by supporters vouching for Panneerselvam to be the rightful leader of the AIADMK. The Edappadi Palanisamy camp was accused of encouraging cadres to file affidavits in support of V K Sasikala Natarajan and Dinakaran to maintain their petition. This even as the camp claimed that Sasikala and her family would not be allowed to meddle in party affairs when talks of a merger were on.
With merger talks put on hold, both parties are continuing to file affidavits staking claim to the name and symbol of the party. Despite both Sasikala and Dinakaran cooling their heels behind bars, the Edappadi Palanisamy camp has filed affidavits supporting their appointment as General secretary and deputy general secretary of the party.
The Election Commission on March 23 had issued an interim order freezing the 'two leaves' symbol of AIADMK. It had asked both rival camps not to use the party symbol as well as its name for the R K Nagar assembly bypoll which was ultimately countermanded over corrupt election practices.