Both the factions of the AIADMK expressed shock on Wednesday over the Election Commission freezing the party's election symbol of 'two leaves' and its name saying they will make all efforts to retrieve it. AIADMK deputy general secretary TTV Dinakaran said he did not expect such an outcome and that he will win the RK Nagar bypoll and get the poll symbol back.
Former Tamil Nadu chief minister O Panneerselvam in a statement said it was "shocking and disappointing" that his party didn't get the symbol despite submitting "strong evidence" to the EC and that they would get it back "at any cost".
Dinakaran, nephew of jailed AIADMK general secretay VK Sasikala, said the party workers had "crossed" similar situation in the past, referring to the EC freezing the election symbol post the death of AIADMK founder MG Ramachandran in 1987.
"AIADMK workers have crossed a similar situation. Therefore, they will remain united and we will win the polls and get the 'two leaves' symbol again. Amma's (J Jayalalithaa) supporters are with us. We will win and retrieve the symbol," he told reporters.
Replying to a question, he said all relevant documents had been put before the EC on this issue and that he "did not expect" such an order by the poll panel.
Read | EC freezes AIADMK election symbol, both Sasikala and OPS factions not allowed to use it
He also appealed to the voters to give their mandate to him as he was contesting to fulfill "Amma's dream of making it a model constituency in India". He said he will be filing his nomination tomorrow. The Commission issued the order following the O Panneerselvam camp asking EC to allot the 'two leaves' symbol to it.
Following his February 7 revolt against Sasikala, Panneerselvam and some of his supporters were expelled from AIADMK by her. The Panneerselvam camp has since challenged her appointment as AIADMK General Secretary before the EC.
It has also fielded E Madusudanan against Dinakaran for the April 12 bypoll to RK Nagar, necessitated by the death of sitting member and former chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in December. S Semmalai from the Panneerselvam camp told PTI: "We will go all-out, pursue legal measures and retrieve the victorious two-leaves symbol of M G Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa. We will emerge victorious."
The former minister and sitting MLA from Mettur seat expressed shock over the EC decision, saying they firmly believed that they will get it as they had submitted adequate documents citing party bylaws and legal framework under which they should have been given the party symbol.