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EC freezes symbol of AIADMK (Relevant for GS Prelims and GS Mains Paper II)

What did the Election Commission do?
In the face of competing claims from the two factions of the AIADMK, the Election Commission did the right thing in denying both the use of the party name and the election symbol.

The decision is beneficial for the other faction of AIADMK
This is a significant victory for the faction led by E. Madhusudhanan and O. Panneerselvam, who have been maintaining that the Sasikala faction does not enjoy the support of party leaders and workers at different levels of the organisation.

What will be the impact of the decision?
The decision, in effect, formalises the split in the party after the death of Jayalalithaa, and provides a level playing field to both factions in the by-election.

Why was the step taken?
The order wrote itself: to favour one faction over the other without examining in detail the veracity of the rival claims of support within the organisation across the State would have been unfair.

What has happened now?
This way, both factions are equally disadvantaged. Strangely, the two parties have been allowed similar names: the Sasikala faction opted for AIADMK (Amma), and the other faction AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma).

Ideally, to avoid confusion among voters, the names of the respective leaders should have been given to the factions.

What will the election results signify?
The by-election is critical for the future of both factions; in the event they both lose, the one that gets more votes is likely to be legitimised in the public eye as the true AIADMK.

Both factions know that they will have to best the other before they can be ready to take on the bigger enemy, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.



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