Chennai: The battle for “two leaves” symbol will reach its crescendo on Wednesday when the full bench of the Election Commission will conduct a crucial hearing on demands from the factions of V.K. Sasikala and O. Panneerselvam that the symbol be allotted to them in the ensuing by-election to Dr R K Nagar constituency.
Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi and Election Commissioners Achal Kumar Jyoti and Om Pr-akash Rawat will begin the hearing at 10.30 am at Nirvachan Sadan, the headquarter of EC, during which representatives from both the factions will present their case.
Both the factions have already submitted their written responses making their stands clear to the EC and will push their case further at the hearing on Wednesday. While A. Navaneethakrishnan and his team are expected to represent Ms Sasikala, Manoj Pandian will argue in favour of Panneerselvam at the hearing.
Both the factions have staked claim to the “two leaves symbol, which holds sway over people from different generation since it is associated with the charisma of late MGR. While Ms Sasikala's faction says they have the support of 122 MLAs and 37 MPs, the rival camp has questioned the appointment of Ms Sasikala as general secretary of the AIADMK contending that it was made in contravention of rules.
This is the second time in 29 years that rival claims over two leaves symbol has reached the EC. In the aftermath of MGR's death in 1987, the AIADMK split into two factions - J. Jayalalithaa and V. N. Janaki - and since both the groups staked claim over the symbol, the Election Commissi-on kept it under freeze and allotted new symbol for both factions. Later, the symbol was defreezed after the party was united.
The hearing was necessitated after Mr Panneerselvam sought allocation of “Two Leaves” symbol to his candidate E Madhusudhanan in the RK Nagar by-election scheduled on April 12. The decision on Wednesday night is crucial since nomination for the April 12 by-election ends on March 23.