The Apex Court on Monday directed the Election Commission of India (ECI) to file a response to the plea submitted by the former Chief Minister and AIADMK leader Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) within three days. The hearing was adjourned to February 3. EPS had knocked the doors of the Supreme Court on Friday claiming that the ECI had refused to accept his signature as the interim general secretary of AIADMK during the nomination process for the Erode East by-poll.
Under the section of 29A of the Representation of the People Act, he had sought the Court to direct the ECI to recognize his appointment as the party’s interim general secretary and abolishment of coordinator post held by O Panneerselvam (OPS) in the party. After making note of the important dates of the by-poll including the last date for filing nominations, the Court asked the EPS’s counsel to make an oral mention on January 30 as they had already reserved its order pertaining to the decisions of the AIADMK’s general body meeting held on July 11, 2022.
Justice Dinesh Maheshwari directed
The court had then said they would see whether they could deliver orders on the case before the last date of nominations and take a decision about providing interim relief if the order was delayed further. While hearing the petition, the bench led by Justice Dinesh Maheshwari directed the ECI not to delay filing the response.
The factions of AIADMK led by EPS and OPS made separate announcements regarding their decision to contest in the by-poll and sought the support of the BJP. With the announcements, the decision to allocate two-leaves symbol lies in the hands of ECI.
However, both the leaders are scared that their actions might lead to a 2016-like scenario when the party symbol was frozen by the commission. While the nomination filling begins on January 31, the last date for filling is scheduled on February 7. The election is scheduled on February 27 and counting of votes would take place on March 2.