Fight over AIADMK two leaves symbol: How History repeats itself..

The Election Commission had to freeze AIADMK’s two leaves symbol as the two factions staked claims over it.

However, this is nothing new. The same fight over the symbol happened when MGR died as well:

With the Election Commission freezing the ‘two leaves’ symbol of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), the focus has now shifted to how the warring factions will come to terms with the changed circumstances, particularly in the context of the byelection to the R.K. Nagar constituency. However, the present tussle in the AIADMK over the party symbol has brought back memories of the piquant situation the party faced in 1988 over the same issue.

Just as there are two factions now, the AIADMK was then divided into two groups, one led by Janaki Ramachandran, widow of the AIADMK founder M.G. Ramachandran, and another by Jayalalithaa, then, the party’s propaganda secretary.

At that time, the battle went on for nine months and it was a month before the Assembly elections in January 1989 that the Election Commission (EC) decided to freeze the symbol. While the Janaki faction was given the symbol of ‘a pair of pigeons’, Jayalalithaa’s group got the ‘cock’ symbol.

The fight erupted weeks after the dissolution of the Tamil Nadu Assembly in January 1988 and police sealing the AIADMK headquarters building on Lloyds Road in Royapettah. In mid-March, the Jayalalithaa faction had formally staked its claim for the name and symbol of the party.

This time too, two new symbols have been given:

The split in the AIADMK became official on Thursday when the two factions chose new names and picked poll symbols+ from the election commission’s ‘free basket’ ahead of the RK Nagar byelection.

The V K Sasikala faction, now called AIADMK (Amma), settled for ‘hat’ as its symbol for the RK Nagar bypoll; the OPS group that christened itself AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) chose the ‘electric pole’, with its forked arms, appeared to have an uncanny resemblance to ‘two leaves’, the popular symbol of the parent party. The settlement came hours before the deadline for filing nominations.

Sasikala faction candidate T T V Dinakaran wore a hat – and a smile – when he went to file his nomination papers, but OPS and his candidate E Madhusudanan had a hearty laugh as the ‘electric pole’ appeared to have an uncanny resemblance to ‘two leaves,’ the popular symbol of the parent party.




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