Ahead of an important election in Tamil Nadu, AIADMK leader and former Chief Minister E Palaniswami is set to approach the Supreme Court for a clarification amid his feud with former Deputy O Panneerselvam.
Mr Palaniswami, or EPS, wants the Election Commission to record that he is interim general secretary of AIADMK and the post of coordinator – held by Mr Panneerselvam or OPS – has been abolished.
This would mean that EPS can assign the party’s “Two Leaves” symbol to any candidate he chooses for the assembly election to Erode without requiring OPS to sign off on it too.
The AIADMK constitution previously required both leaders to sign for candidates.
EPS and OPS have fallen out in an intense tussle for power within the AIADMK.
EPS wants the Supreme Court to ensure that the Election Commission allows him to sign off on his party’s candidate to avoid the possibility of OPS “creating trouble and freezing the party symbol”, sources said.
The election to the Erode East assembly constituency is scheduled on February 27. The constituency has been vacant since the death of Congress MLA Thirumaran Everaa, the son of EVKS Elangovan.
For the AIADMK, the election comes at a time when rival factions led by EPS and OPS are trying to assert their power. Both have reached out to the BJP for an alliance to take on the ruling DMK and its allies.
EPS expelled OPS last year and since then, both leaders have been racing to outdo each other and lay claim to the party and its symbol. OPS has challenged his expulsion in the Supreme Court.
The Tamil Nadu election office recently invited both EPS and OPS as “coordinator and joint coordinator” for a meeting, after which EPS decided to approach the Supreme Court.
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