On Two-Leaf Symbol, Supreme Court Wants A Quick Call From High Court

TTV Dhinakaran launched the "Amma Makkal Munetra Kazhagam" in March, three months after winning the by-elections in RK Nagar, the Chennai constituency represented by AIADMK chief minister J Jayalalithaa

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On Two-Leaf Symbol, Supreme Court Wants A Quick Call From High Court

TTV Dhinakaran launched his "Amma Makkal Munetra Kazhagam" earlier this month.

New Delhi:  TTV Dhinakaran, who is fighting Tamil Nadu's ruling AIADMK for the legacy of Jayalalithaa and the two-leaf election symbol, suffered a setback from the Supreme Court Following an appeal by the AIADMK, the top court out a freeze on the "pressure cooker" symbol granted to Mr Dhinakaran's party and asked the High Court to settle the issue by April-end.

Mr Dhinakaran launched the "Amma Makkal Munetra Kazhagam" in March, three months after winning the by-elections in RK Nagar, the prestigious constituency in Chennai represented in the assembly by AIADMK's iconic leader and former chief minister J Jayalalithaa. He wa also vying for the two-leaf symbol and approached the high court after the Election Commission turned down his contention that he represented the real AIADMK.

On March 9, the high court, in an interim order, asked the Election Commission to allot a common symbol and name to Mr Dhinakaran's party. The former AIADMK leader, who won the RK Nagar elections with the "pressure cooker" symbol, had asked that the same symbol be allotted.

But today, the top court said the high court should have decided the main issue instead of passing interim orders. The court also stayed the high court order allowing the "pressure cooker" symbol to Mr Dhinakaran's party.

The battle over Jayalalithaa's legacy and the poll symbol had been raging since the death of the former chief minister, which led to a tumultuous power struggle within the AIADMK.

Mr Dhinakaran -- who was number 2 in the party -- vied for the symbol first against the breakaway O Panneerselvam faction. Then he wanted it for his own faction after he was thrown out of the party with his aunt VK Sasikala, and the Paneerselvam faction merged with the much larger group led by Chief Minister E Palaniswami.  

In March last year, after the hostilities broke out, the Election Commission froze the two-leaves symbol, granting temporary symbols to the rival factions, ahead of the RK Nagar by-elections. But the elections got postponed after cash-for-votes allegations and Mr Dhinakaran got arrested.

He won a landslide victory when the election was finally held in December.

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