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Dhinakaran's AMMK to EC: Have every right to use Jaya's picture in party flag

twitter-logoPTI | October 17, 2019 | Updated 21:02 IST

New Delhi, Oct 17 (PTI) The Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) led by TTV Dhinakaran told the Election Commission on Thursday that his party has every right to use the picture of "mass leader" Jayalalithaa in its flag, according to counsels representing the party and AIADMK before the poll panel. Such a rare personality, when comes to public life, is celebrated by all and becomes a common man's leader, the party told the poll panel. Dhinakaran is the nephew of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minster J Jayalalithaa's friend V N Sasikala. The AMMK has filed a counter before the commission on Thursday, in response to the AIADMK's objection to register AMMK as a political party. The AMMK said the AIADMK was not using the picture and name of "Amma" (referred to Jayalalithaa fondly by the cadres) anywhere in the organisation or the AIADMK flag. Instead, the AIADMK uses the flag with red and black colour combination with the picture of dravidian leader C N Annadurai in the centre. During the hearing held by the EC's Senior Principal Secretary K J Wilfred, the AMMK recalled precedents wherein the political parties with names of close similarities getting registered. The EC had registered Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), led by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, and another political party with the name AAP. The hearing was adjourned to October 24 and the EC asked the AIADMK to file rejoinder to the AMMK's counter. The EC heard the parties separately with the AMMK in the morning and the AIADMK in the afternoon. AMMK's counsel Raja Sendhurpandian told mediapersons that the EC was requested to decide on the issue fast as the party wanted to concentrate on the forthcoming local body polls in Tamil Nadu, the schedule for which are likely to be announced this month end. He did not see any hurdle in getting the registration as the party had contested in the Assembly by-poll and Lok Sabha election under a common symbol. He said the Commission had told AMMK that the design and usage of flag was the concern of the individual political parties and 'flag design' had nothing to do with the registration process. The poll body wanted a revised copy of the AMMK's constitution, Sendhurapandian said. Commission sources said besides the AIADMK leadership, three other individuals had filed the objections to registration of AMMK. The AIADMK's objection was that the AMMK flag closely resembles the one used by it. The party also had reservations on the AMMK cadres wearing dhoties with black, white and red borders, normally worn by the AIADMK workers and leaders. The AIADMK is objecting vis-a-vis AMMK registration as Dhinakaran had given an assurance to the Supreme Court that he would not stake a claim in the AIADMK. In stark contrast, his party is using a look-alike flag and 'Amma's (Jayalalithaa) picture. As per section 29A of the Representation of the People's Act, 1951, when an application is received for registration, the Commission invites for objections, if any, by giving a one-month notice. The party is registered, subject to fulfilment of other conditions, if there is no objection. If there are objections, it will hear both the parties and decide. PTI JBL NAB SMN

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