Tamil Nadu

EC recognises Moopanar party

In a significant order today, the Election Commission recognised the breakaway Congress headed by Mr. G. K. Moopanar as a regional party In Tamil Nadu and reserved the 'bicycle' symbol for its candidates contesting for the Lok Sabha seats from the State as well as the State Assembly. The party has been registered under the name. 'Tamil Maanlla Congress (Moopanar).'

The Commission order awarded the 'bicycle' symbol on the basis of the faction fulfilling the statutory requirement for a reserved symbol, which says that such a party which has within Its fold two members in the Lok Sabha or eight members in the Legislative Assembly in the respective State.

The Moopanar faction had sought in its plea that it be awarded the reserved symbol of 'star' or 'bicycle' in that order. Rejecting the request for 'star' symbol since it was frozen by the Commission in 1977, the Commission order said, 'the Commission has no objection to the reservation of the symbol 'bicycle' which is the party's next preference.'

The Commission's order today followed an application filed by a set of advocates authorised by the Moopanar faction before the Election Commission earlier in the day and the Commission heard the plea of the faction within a few hours in view of the urgency of the situation. April 3 happens to be the last date for filing of nominations to the Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies in the State.

The Moopanar faction's plea before the Election Commission was based on the affidavit filed by five Lok Sabha members and 19 MLAs In the Tamil Nadu Assembly, stating that they had decided to split from the Tamil Nadu State unit of Congress(I). Interestingly, there was no mention of the names of the five MPs whose affidavits were presented before the Commission to substantiate the claims.

The Commission's order, signed by one of the Deputy Election Commissioners stated, 'on a perusal of the papers and on the basis of the submissions made, I find that the conditions stipulated for registration under Section 29 A of the Representation of People's Act, 1951 have been substantially complied with.1 The Commission order added, 'in view of this, the party be registered under the name and style as sought for, namely, 'Tamil Maanila Congress (Moopanar); significantly, the order was Issued 'exparte'.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2020 9:24:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/ec-recognises-moopanar-party/article6561355.ece

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