Chennai: In a big setback to jailed AIADMK leader VK Sasikala, the faction of Tamil Nadu's ruling party that has sidelined her has won the two-leaves symbol and the Election Commission's stamp of approval as the 'real AIADMK', according to sources.
The party symbol has been restored to the unified AIADMK under the chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, sources said. That group has reportedly been deemed the 'original AIADMK'.
However, Sasikala's nephew TTV Dhinakaran had fought hard for the symbol and also control of the party, which has been wracked by a feud since the death of its former chief J Jayalalithaa. Dhinakaran claimed the support of 18 lawmakers.
The decision comes two days after the Madras High Court ruled that a new representative for J Jayalalithaa's constituency of RK Nagar in Chennai must be elected before the end of the year.
Notably, Jayalalithaa's closest friend Sasikala, who took over control of the party after her death, is serving a four-year jail term for corruption.