AIADMK Symbol Row: OPS Gets Electric Pole, Sasikala Gets Hat


Chennai: The OPS faction of the AIADMK will get an ‘electric pole’ as its symbol while the Sasikala faction has been allotted an ‘hat’ by the Election Commission, which froze the mother party’s iconic two-leaves symbol on Wednesday night.

To add to the confusion, the OPS faction will be called Puratchi Thalaivi AIADMK while VK Sasikala’s faction will be called Amma AIADMK. ‘Puratchi Thalaivi’ means revolutionary leader in Tamil and was a superlative used for Jayalalithaa.

A day after the Election Commission froze the AIADMK ‘Two Leaves’ symbol both O Panneerselvam and Sasikala factions were scrambling to get a symbol of their choice. The two sides were also battling to inherit Jayalalithaa’s legacy, trying to add Amma to the name of their faction.

The battle lines are thus drawn for next month’s by-poll in RK Nagar Assembly constituency which fell vacant following Jayalalithaa’s demise in December.

The bypoll would mark two electoral debuts. The first is of TTV Dinakaran, the nephew of VK Sasikala. Dinakaran was named the deputy general secretary of the party by Sasikala before being jailed in a disproportionate assets case.

The second will be made by Jayalalithaa’s niece Deepa Jayakumar, who has accused the Sasikala’s camp of trying to appropriate the late chief minister’s legacy. In a veiled reference to Sasikala, Deepa had a few days ago alleged harassment by goons.

The Election Commission of India announced that the filing of nominations would begin on March 16 and end on March 23. The last date for withdrawals is March 27. The result will be declared on April 15. The poll body said the model code of conduct will be applicable for the entire Chennai district.