Delhi HC allows TTV Dhinakaran’s plea for common poll symbol

Delhi HC allows TTV Dhinakaran’s plea for common poll symbol

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday allowed TTV Dhinakaran’s plea for allotment of a common symbol, preferably a ‘pressure cooker’, and a suitable name of his choice for the AIADMK faction led by him.
Justice Rekha Palli directed the Election Commission to do the needful within three weeks after giving Dhinakaran’s faction an appropriate hearing.
The court order came on an interim application filed by the Dhinakaran-V K Sasikala faction in their main petition challenging the EC’s November 23 order last year, which had allotted the ‘two leaves’ symbol to the group headed by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E K Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam.
Dhinakaran had earlier told the court that he needed a temporary name and symbol for his group to interact with the electorate in the eventuality of elections to local bodies or any other polls held before his claim to the party’s symbol was decided.
The application sought the allocation of the name and symbol only till the pendency of the main petition, claiming that otherwise, the poll panel might declare it as a separate party. Dhinakaran had won the by-elections held in Radha Krishnan Nagar Assembly constituency in December last year under the ‘pressure cooker’ symbol with a margin of over 40,000 votes. The Sasikala-Dhinakaran faction has also given a list of three names — All India Amma Anna Dravidar Munnetra Kazhagam, MGR Amma Dravidar Munnetra Kazhagam and MGR Amma Dravidar Kazhagam — seeking that one of them be temporarily allotted to them. On December 4 last year, the high court had declined to grant any interim relief to Sasikala-Dhinakaran faction of the AIADMK by dismissing their plea to use the ‘hat’ symbol in the by-poll to the R K Nagar assembly constituency.
The court had left the decision to the Returning Officer who had allotted the ‘pressure cooker’ symbol to Dhinakaran for the by-poll held on December 21, 2017. The ‘hat’ symbol was given to the Sasikala-Dhinakaran group by the EC in March 2017 after it froze the use of the ‘two-leaves’ symbol to which the group led by Palaniswami and Panneerselvam had also laid 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.