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HC verdict on Sasikala-Dhinakaran plea for AIADMK name, two leaves symbol on Thursday

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: February 27, 2019  | 20:05 IST

/R New Delhi, Feb 27 (PTI) The Delhi High Court is likely to pronounce on Thursday its verdict on TTV Dhinakaran and VK Sasikala's pleas challenging the Election Commission's (EC) decision recognising the group led by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E K Palaniswami as the real AIADMK party and allotting it the 'two leaves' symbol. A bench of Justices G S Sistani and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal had on February 8 reserved its decision on the matter after hearing arguments on behalf of the EC and the two factions. The bench had said it would deliver the judgement within four weeks in view of the February 7 Supreme Court order that the EC can decide Dhinakaran's plea for an interim poll symbol, if the high court's decision does not come within four weeks. Dinakaran had floated Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) after he and Sasikala were expelled from the Palaniswami-led AIADMK. The apex court on February 7 had also vacated its order of abeyance on the high court's interim decision of March 9, 2018 directing the EC to allot a common symbol, preferably that of a 'pressure cooker', and a name to the then AIADMK (Amma) faction led by Dhinakaran. The top court had said that since the matter was pending before the high court for final adjudication, there was no just reason as to why the interim arrangement of allotting 'pressure cooker' symbol by the poll panel ought not continue. The apex court's order had come on an application filed by Dhinakaran for a direction to the EC for allocating his group a common symbol, preferably 'pressure cooker', as a by-election to fill the vacant assembly seat of Thiruvarur in Tamil Nadu had been announced and the date of polling had been fixed as January 28. Later, the by-election to Thiruvarur seat was rescinded by a notification issued by the EC on January 6. The 'pressure cooker' symbol was allotted, as an interim measure, to Dinakaran faction last year during the bypolls of the R K Nagar constituency in the state which he had won with a margin of over 40,000 votes. The EC on November 23, 2017 had allotted the 'two leaves' symbol to the group headed by Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam. The EC in March 2017 had given the 'hat' symbol to the Sasikala-Dhinakaran group after it froze the use of the 'two-leaves' symbol to which the group led by Palaniswami and Panneerselvam had also staked claim. The Palaniswami-Panneerselvam faction had at the same time been granted the 'electric pole' symbol. However, on November 23, 2017, the poll panel had ruled in favour of the Palaniswami-Panneerselvam faction by allotting the 'two-leaves' symbol to them. The symbol issue has been lingering since April 2017 in the aftermath of the announcement of the by-poll to Radha Krishnan Nagar constituency in Tamil Nadu following the death of AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa in December 2016. Earlier, rival factions led by Sasikala and Panneerselvam had staked claim over the symbol. Palaniswami was then in the Sasikala camp. Later, a large number of legislators led by Palaniswami revolted against Sasikala. PTI HMP SKV GVS

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