Dinakaran, Sasikala, AMMK, AIADMK, DMK, Edappadi K Palaniswami, O Panneerselvam, TTV, The Federal, English news website.
TTV, as Dhinakaran is popularly called, came to attention in the manner he won the RK Nagar Assembly by-elections in December 2017. Photo/PTI.

TTV Dhinakaran appointed general secretary of AMMK

TTV Dhinakaran was elected as the general secretary of the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) on Friday (April 19) which will enable the party to get it officially registered as a political party.

CR Saraswathi, AMMK spokesperson, said, “The appointment of Dhinakaran as the head of the party is complete, the registration of the party with the Election Commission of India will begin in a couple of days.”

While this development comes a day after Tamil Nadu went to polls, Saraswathi confirmed that the decision is an outcome of the Supreme Court’s order and it is not related to elections.

Last month, the Supreme Court while refusing to accept AMMK’s claim for ‘pressure cooker’ symbol had asked the Election Commission of India (ECI) to “consider and make endeavour” to allot a common election symbol from among the free symbols available.

The relief from the apex court came on the last day for filing nominations for the Lok Sabha elections and by-elections for 18 assembly seats that were held on April 18.

The SC bench said, “Your claim to ‘two leaves’ symbol is now a closed, the question is whether you are entitled to ‘pressure cooker’ as a symbol. You can get ‘pressure cooker’ as individuals but not as group. You should have registered with the Election Commission of India.”

Following this, the ECI allotted ‘gift box’ as the common symbol and the candidates contested as independents under the symbol on the recently held Lok Sabha poll and by-elections to 18 assembly seats.

In 2017, after the ECI allotted the ‘two leaves’ symbol to the united All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) — under Edappadi K Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam, Dhinakaran moved the Delhi High Court challenging the ECI’s decision. While the verdict on the matter was still pending, Dhinakaran, in an interim application had sought the ‘pressure cooker’ symbol to continue political activities.

Contesting as an independent candidate in the by-election from RK Nagar, a constituency which was earlier held by late J Jayalalithaa, Dhinakaran registered a thumping victory in 2017.

Dhinakaran’s supporters who were asserting to be the real AIADMK, had given up on their claim, even when AMMK was launched in February, 2018. Dhinakaran had then promised that AMMK will enable “to retrieve the AIADMK from the betrayers,” and it would function as a “registered political organisation until we completely retrieve AIADMK.”

At the current scenario, registering the party will enable the AMMK to retain the ‘gift box’ symbol for the remaining four by-election constituencies, to be held on May 19 and continue its political activities.

The new position would also mean that Dhinakaran would target at asserting his position as the leader when it was presumed that his aunt and jailed leader V K Sasikala would be made the head of the party.

However, Thanga Tamil Selvan a senior leader in the AMMK  and close aide of Dhinakaran, claimed that once Sasikala is out from jail, she would be president of the party.

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