New Delhi, Apr 21: The Election Commission of India on Friday granted time to both the Sasikala and O Panneerselvam factions till June 16 to submit documents and details to claim the ‘two leaves’ symbol of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK). The order of EC comes amid the negotiation going on between the two camps of AIADMK for a potential merger.
Initially, when the issue was heated, the Panneerselvam faction took the electric poll symbol, while the AIADMK (Amma) faction headed now by Palanisamy took the hat as a symbol. Noteworthy that Dhinakaran, relative of Sasikala was recently charged with allegations of bribery to acquire the ‘two leaves’ symbol and a middleman has been arrested in this regard as well.
The fuss over the two-leaves symbol is that it was the original symbol of the AIADMK, which gained popularity within the people, and most likely , the two factions wish to continue the legacy of the two leaves to have the same influence over the people and their votes.
Reportedly, a team of the Delhi Police Crime Branch reached Chennai earlier on Wednesday with a notice to join an investigation related to ousted AIADMK leader TTV Dinakaran’s ‘two leaves’ symbol case. On Monday, a Delhi Court had earlier sent Sukesh Chandrashekhar, the middleman alleged of striking a deal of Rs. 50 crore to help the AIADMK faction keep the ‘two leaves’ poll symbol, to eight-day long police custody.
The development came after the Crime Branch recovered approximately Rs. 1.3 crore and two luxury cars, a BMW and a Mercedes, from Chandrashekhar. Hence it was then that Dinakaran was named as an accused in FIR filed by the Delhi Police Crime Branch for allegedly offering bribe for his party’s ‘two leaves’ symbol.
Dinakaran’s faction contested on the hat symbol after the Election Commission froze their two leaves symbol while acknowledging the split in the party. Chandrasekhar was arrested from the Hyatt hotel on Sunday night and was produced at the residence of Special Judge Poonam Chaudhry who allowed the Delhi Police’s plea to interrogate the accused for eight days.
The case pertained to an alleged attempt to bribe an Election Commission official by the AIADMK (Amma) leader for trying to get the party’s poll symbol of ‘two leaves’ in a by-election to the R K Nagar Assembly seat in Tamil Nadu.
The polling was later cancelled by the Election Commission.
(With inputs from agencies)