Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami along with the state's former chief minister O. Paneerselvam during the merger of the two factions of AIADMK at the party's headquarters in Chennai on Aug 21, 2017.IANS

In the bitter fight between the two factions of the AIADMK for the party's 'two leaves' symbol, has gone in favour of the camp led by Tamil Nadu chief minister Eddapaddi Palaniswamy (EPS) and former CM O Panneerselvam (OPS). 

Celebrations started in the EPS-OPS camp on Thursday, November 23 after E Palaniswami told reporters that the Election Commission of India (EC) has finally allotted the two leaves symbol to his faction.

A leader of EPS-OPS faction has however said that the ECI order allotting the sympbol to it was yet to arrive. "Waiting for the hard copy of the order but have got information from the EC orally that the two leaves symbol has been allotted to us," he said. 

Meanwhile the the Sasikala faction led by TTV Dinakaran alleged favouritism by EC and stated that the EPS-OPS faction was allotted the party symbol due to its proximity with the ruling BJP.

Reacting to the allegations, CM EPS was quoted by Times Now as saying, "Our side had more supporters and legislators. We did not win because of the BJP; we did so because our arguments were better. We provided sufficient evidence: 90% of the party cadre were with us."

"Election Commission has given judgement in our favour, we are very happy. Majority of party workers supported us," Tamil Nadu chief minister added. 

Tiff over two leaves symbol

The ownership of the symbol of two leaves, which the Jayalalithaa-led AIADMK carried for years, before the  her death on December 5 last year, came under question after the EPS, OPS and Sasikala factions along with Dinakaran started fighting over it.

Observing that the AIADMK had undergone a major split, the EC froze the symbol in March this year, before the RK Nagar elections in Tamil Nadu.

The commission then directed all the three factions in April 2017, to submit affidavits which will prove their claims over the symbol. The date for submission of the affidavit was further postponed to June this year.

Sasikala faction failed to produce affidavit to ECI

Sasikala Natarajan
Sasikala NatarajanTwitter/AIADMK Official

In the meanwhile, the EPS and OPS factions buried the hatchets and jointly approached the ECI. Meanwhile Sasikala factions' Dinakaran could not gather enough proof to ground his claim and asked for an extension, which was denied by the commission.

In the AIADMK general council, convened by EPS-OPS camp, earlier in September, Sasikala and Dinakaran were ousted from their respective designations in the party. 

Following Sasikala's arrest in disproportionate assets case earlier this year, she had appointed her nephew Dinakaran as the lead of their faction.

Sasikala faction opposes ECI's decision

On November 8, the ECI concluded the hearing on the election symbol dispute, but reserved its order. However the commission couldn't meet the deadline of November 10 set by the apex court of India for resolving the dispute, the Hindu reported.

Dinakaran camp had questioned the genuineness of many affidavits submitted by the OPS-EPS faction before the commission and have demanded a cross-examination of the same. Alleging that the rival faction had violated the constitutional norms of AIADMK, the Dinakaran camp urged the commission to keep the symbol frozen.  

Palanisamy, Palaniswamy, Palaniswami
Tamil Nadu CM Edapadi K PalaniswamiIANS

However, the camp led by EPS and OPS claimed that they enjoyed majority in the party's legislative and organisational wings and added that the other group was trying to drag the proceedings unnecessarily.