AIADMK Deputy General Secretary T T V Dinakaran and O Panneerselvam-led rebel group's senior leader E Madhusudhanan on Thursday filed their nominations for the RK Nagar Assembly constituency bypoll on 12 April.
With the Election Commission freezing the party's 'two leaves' election symbol and barring both groups from using the party name AIADMK after they staked claim to it, Dinakaran and Madhusudhanan will be contesting the bypoll on their 'hat' and 'electric pole' symbols respectively.
The bypoll is being held to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Jayalalithaa and Thursday is the last day for the filing of nominations.
After filing his papers here, Dinakaran assured that if elected he would continue the development schemes pursued by the late party supremo in the Tamil Nadu Assembly constituency in north Chennai.
Jayalalithaa's niece Deepa also filed her nomination for the bypoll representing 'MGR Amma Deepa Peravai', floated by her after the demise of her aunt.
BJP nominee and noted music director Gangai Amaran also filed his nomination on Thursday. Opposition DMK's Maruthu Ganesh has already filed his papers.
Flanked by party supporters wearing 'hats', Dinakaran, nephew of AIADMK interim general secretary V K Sasikala, filed his nomination for the bypoll, seen as a litmus test for both Sasikala and Panneerselvam camps.
While the Sasikala group will contest the poll under the name – ‘AIADMK Aamma’ the rival camp will be known as ‘AIADMK (Puratchithalaivi Amma)‘. Madhusudhanan claimed that people wanted rule of O Panneerselvam in the state as he had been working for their welfare.
"My victory prospects in this election are bright... We are firm in our objective – it is to fight against family rule in the AIADMK," he told reporters after filing his papers.
Dinakaran, a former MP, said the party symbol had been frozen due to a "conspiracy" and exuded confidence that he would win by a large margin of votes.
"The freezing of party symbol is only due to a conspiracy. I am confident that I will win the poll by huge margin of votes. I am contesting the bypoll on a different party symbol (hat)," he told reporters.
Dinakaran said he would take up Jayalalithaa's developmental schemes and assured that the constituency leads by example through its developmental projects.
Madhusudhanan noted that the AIADMK was formed by late M G Ramachandran to fight "family rule" (of M Karunanidhi in DMK) and it was then "taken care of by Amma (Jayalalithaa)".
“Amma did not favour any family rule in the party. She reinstated Sasikala only as an assistant...even Amma did not reinstate AIADMK Deputy General Secretary T T V Dinakaran or Divakaran or even Sudhakaran into the party,” he said.
Former Tamil Nadu Minister K Pandiarajan said their manifesto would be released on Friday.
"Two prominent issues that will be highlighted in the manifesto is to develop the R K Nagar constituency and to solve the mystery behind the death of Amma," he said. Gangai Amaran was accompanied by senior party functionaries including state BJP chief Tamilisai Sounderrajan.
Sounderrajan told reporters that the freezing of AIADMK party symbol by the Election Commission was on "expected lines".