The internal conflict between the two factions of AIADMK has given rise to an unusual casualty. The Thevar community, which has been a constant support to the AIADMK, is in a fix. Raising queries about the `real' AIADMK, the Madurai branch of the Bank of India has declined to hand over a golden armour donated by former chief minister J Jayalalithaa to commemorate the death anniversary of iconic thevar leader Pasumpon Muthuramalingam.

Muthuramalinga thevar represents a dominant community that forms AIADMK's support base in the south. The armour will be the toast of the guru pooja that will begin on October 28 and end on October 31.

The Times of India reported that since there is a dispute over AIADMK and its symbol, which is being heard by the Election Commission, the Bank of India branch in Anna Nagar in Madurai has raised some queries about who will represent the party. “After clarifications are provided to the bank, the armour would be handed over to the true custodians, in a day or two,” said a senior party leader from the EPS-OPS faction.

The armour is kept in the bank’s vaults and is handed over to the descendants of the thevar leader and AIADMK treasurer during the event. 

The 13 kg golden armour was donated to the community’s memorial back in 2014. It cost Rs 4.5 crore. The armour is taken out during the Thevar Jayanti celebrations by the treasurer of the AIADMK, a post held by OPS for nearly a decade now, and the person in charge of the Thevar memorial in Pasumpon.

But while this was a brilliant opportunity to help the community get the armour and assert their leadership, TTV Dhinakaran seems to have made the first move.

The sidelined former deputy general secretary of AIADMK on Thursday wrote to Bank of India authorising Pasumbon Thevar Ninaivalayam's (PTN) representative to take its gold armour from bank.

Dhinakaran in his letter added that the gold armour will be taken for Thevar Jayanti Celebrations and would be returned to bank on November 1.