The Hindu Editorial (Party and symbol) 5 March 2019
Party and symbol: on ‘Two Leaves’ verdict
The Delhi High Court verdict upholding the allotment of the ‘Two Leaves’ symbol to the AIADMK jointly led by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and Deputy CM O. Panneerselvam has come as no surprise. The Election Commission’s November 23, 2017 order had ruled in its favour based on the group’s majority in its organizational and legislative wings. The claim of the faction headed by V.K. Sasikala, a confidante of the late Jayalalithaa, and her nephew, T.T.V. Dhinakaran, to the party’s name and symbol weakened after Mr. Palaniswami and Mr. Panneerselvam, who were in rival factions earlier, decided to come together in August 2017. Since then, they have consolidated their position by getting Mr. Dhinakaran’s loyalists among MLAs disqualified and outmanoeuvring him in both the party structure and in court cases. Their unity was forged with the common aim of keeping out Ms. Sasikala, who was briefly elected interim general secretary of the AIADMK after Jayalalithaa’s death in December 2016, and her nephew. The court has ruled that the EC was well within its powers to apply the majority test and allot the symbol to the faction that had more members in the general council and in its complement of MLAs and MPs. The court did not entertain arguments that the Commission should have ruled against the Panneerselvam-Palaniswami faction because it had changed the party’s basic structure by abolishing the post of general secretary; and the contention that the Commission’s order was vitiated by malice because it granted additional opportunities for filing affidavits, after which many reneged on their earlier statements on which group they belonged to.
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The Dhinakaran faction has decided to appeal in the Supreme Court against the order that has set back his political fortunes. At the same time, it wants a common symbol to contest elections. Mr. Dhinakaran himself won a by-election to the Assembly from the RK Nagar constituency as an independent with the ‘pressure cooker’ symbol. He may have to register his party, the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK), with the EC to get a common symbol. Ever since he began running a faction in the absence of Sasikala, who is serving a four-year prison term, he has been trying to make the best of bad situations. He spent months in a Delhi prison himself on an allegation that he attempted to bribe an unknown EC official to get the party symbol. His political survival has so far hinged on tactically preserving a dual identity: running a party on the one hand, and keeping his group’s claim to the AIADMK’s identity alive through court cases. It is clear he is seeking to preserve his claim until the mainstream leadership is defeated in an election, in the hope that a majority of the party’s primary members will rally behind him. The coming general elections and as many as 21 Assembly by-elections will be an acid test of his political survival.
The Hindu Editorial Vocabulary Wordlist
1) LEGISLATIVE (Adj) = Lawmaking, ( वैधानिक )
Synonyms = Congressional, Senatorial.
Antonyms = Unlawful, Non-Government.
2) RIVAL (Adj) = Opposing, ( प्रतियोगी )
Synonyms = Competing, Battling.
Antonyms = Assisting, Associate.
3) OUTMANOEUVRE (Verb) = Outwit, ( हराना )
Synonyms = Outsmart, Overtake.
Antonyms = Give, Accost.
4) CONSOLIDATED (Verb) = Combine, ( समेकित )
Synonyms = Merged, Standardizing.
Antonyms = Divide, Loose.
5) ABOLISH (Verb) = Abrogate, ( हटाना )
Synonyms = Annul, Repeal.
Antonyms = Allow, Approve.
6) AFFIDAVIT (Noun) = Written Legal Declaration, ( शपथपत्र )
Synonyms = Oath, Testimony.
Antonyms = Denial, Refutation.
7) ALLEGATION (Noun) = Assertion Placing Blame, ( आरोप )
Synonyms = Accusation, Charge.
Antonyms = Exculpation, Denial.
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