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Election panel reserves order in AIADMK symbol case

Chennai: The Election Commission on Wednesday reserved its order after hearing day-long arguments from rival AIADMK factions in Tamil Nadu on the allocation of the “two leaves” party symbol, one of the petitioners said.

“The hearing before the Election Commission ended around 5 p.m. The panel has reserved its orders. Perhaps we may know its decision later in the day or tomorrow (Thursday),” K.C. Palaniswamy, former parliamentarian of the AIADMK from the anti-Sasikala faction, told IANS from New Delhi.

The two AIADMK factions are led by its now-jailed General Secretary V.K. Sasikala and former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam.

The poll panel has three options: Allot the symbol to Sasikala or to Panneerselvam faction, or in the worst case scenario, freeze the symbol.

The symbol allotment is important as a bye-election will be held on April 12 to Tamil Nadu’s R.K. Nagar assembly constituency, represented by the late J. Jayalalithaa who died on December 5, 2016.

“We are confident of getting the symbol. The majority of the MLAs are on our side. The government is also ours,” AIADMK spokesperson Avadi Kumar earlier told IANS.

AIADMK Deputy General Secretary T.T.V. Dinakaran will contest the R.K. Nagar seat on behalf of the ruling party faction led by Sasikala.

The Panneerselvam faction has fielded E. Madhusudanan.

–IANS