The Election Commission of India has directed Sasikala Natarajan faction of the AIADMK to respond to a petition filed by Panneerselvam. The EC has given asked the response to be filed by March 20. Even before bracing for the Dr Radhakrishnan Nagar bypolls in April, the two factions of the AIADMK have to battle it out for the party's symbol.
Former Tamil Nadu chief minister O Panneerselvam's camp has petitioned the Election Commission, staking claim to the party's two leaves symbol even as a delegation from the Sasikala Natarajan camp asked the poll panel not to entertain any petitions claiming the symbol.
A delegation from the Sasikala camp including Tamil Nadu ministers Dindugal Srinivasan, Udumalali Radhakrishnan, CV Shanmugam and Vijaya Bhaskar asked the poll panel not to entertain any contentious petitions from anyone since the election process in the bypoll bound constituency had already begun. Members of the Panneerselvam camp had met poll panel officials a day prior and the petition seems to have been made then.
TTV Dinakaran is Sasikala's candidate for the bypoll, whereas E Madhusudhanan is Panneerselvam's candidate and both want to contest under the AIADMK's two leaves symbol. The Election Commission, like in the case of the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, has to decide which is the real party and who can contest under the party's symbol. It may be recalled that in the case of SP, the EC held Akhilesh Yadav's faction to be the actual party since it had the support of more number of legislators.