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With the EC restoring the "two leaves" symbol for the ruling faction of the AIADMK, the Palaniswamy-Panneerselvam faction is now the officially recognised AIADMK. They now have the option of approaching the Supreme Court.

The Election Commission had earlier this month concluded hearing the AIADMK symbol case and reserved its order.

Soon after the demise of Jayalalithaa, the AIADMK saw three splits, which now finally has come down to two - EPS-OPS faction and Sasikala - TTV Dinakaran faction.

The Tamil Nadu CM expressed his happiness over the EC's order and celebrations broke out at the party's headquarters, with workers bursting crackers and distributing candies.

Palaniswami played down murmurs of discontent in party ranks, saying it was a work of media which "magnified" it.

"Without considering this, the Commission was "keen" on blocking the symbol".

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After the death of Jayalalithaa in December previous year, the AIADMK split into two factions - one led by Panneerselvam and the other by the now jailed Sasikala. The leaders had contended that Sasikala's appointment as the party general secretary was in gross violation of the provisions of the AIADMK constitution, as she did not fulfill the requirement of continuous membership of the party for five years.

The two factions filed a written submission before the EC in the case on November 13.

ECI alloted the "two leaves" symbol to the Panneerselvam-Palaniswami combine, holding that it enjoyed majority in the party's legislative and organisational wings.Putting an end to the almost one year-long dispute between the warring factions.

Dinakaran fought hard for the symbol and also control of the party, albeit abortively.

The commission had in an interim order issued in March barred either of the factions from using the party's name or its "two leaves" symbol in the bypoll. Though this was famously referred to as a "merger" of both factions, a faction of the party led by Mr. Dhinakaran functioned as a separate entity.

Earlier, Palaniswami, Panneerselvam and other ministers distributed candies to party workers and journalists at the party office.


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