AIADMK symbol row: O Panneerselvam gets 'electric pole', VK Sasikala allotted 'hat'; both retain 'Amma' in new party names

The Election Commission on Thursday allotted new symbols to the two warring factions – one led by O Panneerselvam and the other by VK Sasikala - of Tamil Nadu's ruling party AIADMK for contesting the upcoming bypoll in the RK Nagar constituency.

By Zee Media Bureau | Updated: Mar 23, 2017, 13:07 PM IST
AIADMK symbol row: O Panneerselvam gets 'electric pole', VK Sasikala allotted 'hat'; both retain 'Amma' in new party names

Chennai: The Election Commission on Thursday allotted new symbols to O Panneerselvam and VK Sasikala-led factions of Tamil Nadu's ruling party AIADMK for contesting the upcoming bypoll in the RK Nagar constituency.

Interestingly, the poll panel allowed the two sides to retain the word 'Amma' in their new party names.

As part of the decision, O Panneerselvam-led faction was allotted a new symbol - electric poll – by the Election Commission for contesting polls.

According to ANI, O Panneerselvam's new party will now be called AIADMK Puratchi Thalaivi Amma.' 

Meanwhile, the Sasikala-led AIADMK faction was allotted 'hat' as the party symbol by the Election Commission

Sasikala's party will now be known as 'AIADMK Amma' . 

The Sasikala faction was earlier asked to chose from three options - cricket bat, cap or an auto-rickshaw - by the poll panel after which they settled for 'hat' as their party symbol. It was also reported that the Sasikala faction was earlier allotted 'auto-rickshaw' as the party symbol but they pressed for 'hat'. 

Hari Prabhakaran, a close aide of OPS and the joint secretary of the AIADMK IT Wing, had tweeted the new symbol and the name of the party.  

The Election Commission had on Wednesday barred them from using the undivided party's "two leaves" symbol for contesting the by-election.

The poll panel had last night said that both groups shall be known by such names as they may choose for their respective groups, showing, if they so desire, linkage with their parent party.

"Both the groups will also be allotted such different symbols as they may choose from the list of free symbols notified by the Election Commission," it said.

The bypoll was necessitated following the demise of former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa who was elected from RK Nagar.

E Madhusudhanan of the OPS camp today filed his nomination at RK Nagar.

TT V Dinakaran of the Sasikala faction and Maruthu Ganesh of DMK will also be contesting the April 12 bypoll.  

Both O Panneerselvam and the VK Sasikala camps had earlier pledged to continue fight for getting the party’s election symbol of ‘two leaves’ back after the Election Commission put a freeze on its use.

The leaders of the two sides said that they will make all efforts to retrieve it.

Expressing shock over the poll panel's decision, AIADMK deputy general secretary TTV Dinakaran said he did not expect such an outcome.

Dinakaran, however, exuded confidence that he will win the RK Nagar bypoll and get the poll symbol back.

Former Tamil Nadu chief minister O Panneerselvam in a statement said it was “shocking and disappointing” that his party didn’t get the symbol despite submitting “strong evidence” to the EC and that they would get it back “at any cost”.

Panneerselvam and some of his supporters were expelled from AIADMK on February 7 after they openly revolted against Sasikala. 

The Panneerselvam camp has since challenged her appointment as AIADMK general secretary before the EC.