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AIADMK Symbol Case: Rival Factions Submit Fresh Affidavits To EC

New Delhi:  The two rival factions of the AIADMK which are battling for the party’s ‘two leaves’ symbol today submitted fresh affidavits to the Election Commission (EC), claiming the support of the majority of the party’s office bearers.

The unified AIADMK made its submissions first with MLA CV Shanmugam, who was part of a delegation that went to the EC, claiming that affidavits from 95 per cent of party cadres supporting the merged faction were submitted.

According to a source in the party, affidavits of 115 MLAs, 44 MPs, 52 district secretaries, 126 town secretaries and over 1,200 village secretaries from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Maharashtra and Puducherry, were submitted.

KP Munuswami, senior leader of the unified AIADMK, while speaking to reporters, said decisions taken in the party’s general council meeting on September 12 after the merger of the factions led by O Panneerselvam and E Palaniswami have also been submitted apart from the affidavits.

“All the numbers required to secure the party symbol have been reflected in the number of affidavits we have submitted.

We are confident that we will get the symbol,” he said.

The unified AIADMK delegation included D Jayakumar, RB Udayakumar, CV Shanmugam, Manoj Pandian and Member of Parliament V Maitreyan.

Later in the day, the rival faction, headed by ousted party interim General Secretary VK Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dhinakaran, filed over 1,000 fresh affidavits from general council members, who were holding the posts before Dhinakaran was ousted.

The affidavits filed were in addition to those filed previously.

The Dhinakaran faction also sought three more days’ time to file more affidavits, according to sources in the faction. The submitted affidavits included those from 18 MLAs and 6 MPs, they said.

The EC had yesterday rejected the plea of the Dhinakaran faction, seeking more time and maintained that the hearing on the issue would take place as scheduled on October 6.

MR VA Pugazhendhi, who was from the Dhinakaran faction, said the EC’s denial of more time was not a setback.

“It would not be affecting us in any way. We just wanted to reach a large number of cadres spread in different geographical locations,” he said.

Mr Pugazhendhi said their faction respects the decisions of the EC unlike the rival faction of Mr Palanisamy and Mr Panneerselvam.

The Dhinakaran faction also filed a complaint with the EC against the unified AIADMK for “illegally” announcing a merger and ousting Ms Sasikala by convening a general council meeting on September 12, when the issue was still pending with the poll panel.

The complaint also accused the unified AIADMK of wrongfully using the AIADMK letter pad to convene the meeting when the EC had restricted the use of the party name.

“They never informed the EC before the merger or sought its permission to convene a general council meeting using the AIADMK letter pad,” said Pugazhendhi.

Neither Sasikala nor deputy Dhinakaran gave permission for the meeting, he said.

The unified AIADMK was also accused of not informing the general council members, particularly from Karnataka, about the agenda of the meeting, in which Sasikala was ousted.

The Election Commission had asked all parties in the party symbol dispute case to submit their documents on or before September 29 and scheduled a hearing on October 6.

The poll panel’s move had come following the Madras High Court’s directive to it to settle the issue before October 31.