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July 25 2017, 08:34 | Jonathan Williams
In the backdrop of your party suffering a split how do you feel entering the poll arena after a very long time
The Commission, on Wednesday late night, also decided that neither factions shall be permitted to use the name of the party, "AIADMK" in the bye-election scheduled for April 12. He promised to fulfill the late Jayalalithaa's promise of making RK Nagar the Number 1 constituency in the country.
It is now a battle between AIADMK Amma and the AIADMK Puratchi Thalaivi Amma at the RK Nagar bye-poll. EC froze the AIADMK name and symbol necessitating both factions to select new names and symbols. However as the faction feud in the AIADMK intensified, he tacitly backed the O Panneerselvam faction.
Both the sides have approached Election Commission of India for the Two Leaves symbol. She is seen as controlling both the party and the government from jail through her chosen nominees - Mr Dinakaran and E Palaniswami, who is now the Chief Minister.
While the OPS-led faction was allotted a new symbol of "electric pole" - by the Election Commission for contesting polls, the new party will also get a new name.
In the last Assembly elections, the AIADMK and its allies contested all the 234 seats under the "two leaves" symbol and won 136 of them. There has been a tug of war between General Secretary VK Sasikala and the breakaway faction led by former CM O Panneerselvam. Sasikala was appointed the interim General Secretary late previous year in a unanimous resolution adopted by the party at its General Council meeting.
"It is a big setback to Sasikala faction, which conspired to take total control of party, " said Ponnaiyan, asserting that the 15 million party workers would back rebel leader O Panneerselvam as the true leader.
Dinakaran, nephew of Sasikala, said that the party faced a similar situation in the past.
The Election Commission gave the "electricity pole" symbol to the O Panneerselvam camp. Although she had later withdrawn the "disciplinary action" against Sasikala after she expressed regret, Jayalalithaa had, however, said the expulsion of others would continue.