If numbers are anything to go by, the Edappadi Palanisamy camp of the AIADMK has everything in its favour in the two leaves symbol case. With Election Commission of India's deadline to submit affidavits, documents and proof of claim in the AIADMK symbol row draws to an end on Friday, Sasikala Natarajan faction that turned into Edappadi Palanisamy faction has the edge in the numbers game.
6.82 lakh affidavits in Edappadi Palanisamy's favour
As of June 16, a total of 6.82 lakh affidavits has been submitted in favour of Edappadi Palanisamy. On Friday alone, leaders from the Edappadi camp submitted 2.84 lakh affidavits to the Election Commission. All these affidavits endorse and support Sasikala Natarajan's elevation as the party's General Secretary and TTV Dinakaran's appointment as the Deputy General Secretary of the AIADMK.
The affidavits state that the party's office bearers had the powers to elect a General Secretary and the due procedure was followed in choosing Sasikala Natarajan as their leader. Submitted by district, taluk and ward level officer bearers, the affidavits claim that Sasikala Natarajan faction that is currently being led by Edappadi Palanisamy is the true AIADMK and any other members staking claim should not be entertained.
Affidavits submitted to the election commission or on a Rs 20 stamp paper. Keeping aside travel and other costs, the Palanisamy camp has spent Rs 1.36 crore just on plain stamp papers to prepare the affidavits.
Panneerselvam camp's number woes
Despite the massive public support that Panneerselvam garnered after he rebelled against Sasikala Natarajan, the support does not seem to have translated into numbers. While it is left to the election commission to accept or reject affidavits on the basis of their genuineness, as on June 16, Panneerselvam camp is lagging behind in numbers.
So far, the Panneerselvam camp, despite having majority support among MPs has managed to file 3.8 lakh affidavits. On the last day of the deadline, 22,000 affidavits are expected to be filed in support of Panneerselvam camp of the AIADMK. Time and again the Panneerselvam camp has reiterated that may not have the support of office bearers but had the support of grassroots level workers and supporters. So far, the camp is estimated to have spent around Rs 76 lakh for affidavits.
Deepa Jayakumar stakes claim too
The number of affidavits submitted in support of Jayalalithaa's niece, Deepa Jayakumar is abysmal in comparison to EPS and OPS camps. Close to 50,000 affidavits have been filed in support of Deepa Jayakumar who has also staked claim to the AIADMK party name and symbol. Deepa, who has never been in the political limelight claims that she is her aunt's political heir and is hence, entitled to lead her party.
The Election Commission of India had frozen the name and symbol of AIADMK on March 23, 2017. Warring factions of the AIADMK were given different names and symbols to contest in the R K Nagar bypoll which was countermanded ultimately.