Make fresh representation for symbol: HC directs MDMK

In a significant development, the Madras High Court (MHC) has directed the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) to submit a fresh representation before the Election Commission of India (ECI) seeking the ‘TOP’ symbol for the upcoming 2024 Parliament election and 2026 Assembly election. The directive came following a petition filed by MDMK seeking the allocation of the ‘TOP’ symbol.
A division bench comprising Justice SS Sundar and G Arul Murugan heard the petition filed by MDMK, highlighting the party’s longstanding demand for the ‘TOP’ symbol. The counsel for MDMK informed the court about the various representations made to the ECI, expressing concern over the delay in action by the commission. With the expectation of imminent announcement of election dates, the counsel sought the intervention of the Madras High Court in the matter.
Niranjan Rajagopal, the standing counsel for MDMK, emphasised the party’s legitimate claim to the ‘TOP’ symbol, citing its status as a registered and recognized political entity contesting elections since 1996.
Despite the ECI’s decision to de-recognize MDMK in 2010, the party contends that the ‘TOP’ symbol was allocated to them under para 10-A of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order 1968.
MDMK General Secretary Vaiko, in his affidavit, reiterated the party’s assertion that the ‘TOP’ symbol is integral to its identity and electoral history. Vaiko highlighted MDMK’s significant voter share in previous elections and emphasized the importance of the symbol in ensuring fair and free elections.