In a major jolt to AIADMK, party’s Deputy General Secretary T T V Dinakaran was named accused in the FIR filed by Delhi Police crime branch for allegedly offering bribe for the ‘Two leaves’ symbol’, according to ANI report. Dinakaran, a leader of the AIADMK faction led by his jailed aunt V K Sasikala, was booked following the arrest of Sukesh Chandrasekhar, a middleman, from a five-star hotel here yesterday. “It has been learnt that Sukesh had struck a deal for Rs 50 crore for helping the AIADMK faction keep the ‘two leaves’ symbol. Police have recovered Rs 1.30 crore from Sukesh and two cars — a BMW and a Mercedes — have also been seized,” said a senior police officer. Sukesh is being interrogated to know about his profile and his connection with any EC official, he said. Reacting after being booked by Delhi police, Dinakaran said, “I will deal with the case legally.”
The Election Commission had earlier frozen the ‘two leaves’ election symbol and barring both Sasikala faction and O Panneerselvam-led rebel group from using the party name AIADMK after they staked claim to it. Notably, the poll body had cancelled the bypoll to the R K Nagar Assembly constituency in Tamil Nadu scheduled to be held on April 12 following reports that money was used to influence voters.
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Earlier, Dinakaran had claimed that the two leaves symbol belongs to his faction. “The two leaves symbol belongs to the AIADMK led by Amma (the late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa) and (party founder) Puratchi Thalaivar M G Ramachandran,” he had said.
The bypoll to R K Nagar constituency was necessitated following the death of AIADMK Supremo J Jayalalithaa on December 5, 2016. The Panneerselvam camp had announced party veteran E Madhusudhanan as its candidate for the bypoll. AIADMK General Secretary V K Sasikala had on February 15 reinducted Dinkaran, her nephew and another relative S Venkatesh, into the party, five years after their expulsion by Jayalalithaa.
She had announced that Dinakaran, a former Rajya Sabha member, was being appointed as AIADMK Deputy General Secretary. Dinakaran and Venkatesh, besides Sasikala and her husband M Natarajan, were expelled from the AIADMK in 2011 by Jayalalithaa amidst reports then that they interfered in party and government administration.
Though she withdrew the “disciplinary action” against her close aide after Sasikala expressed regret, Jayalalithaa had however said that the expulsion of the rest would continue.
Sasikala, co-accused Elvarasi and another nephew V N Sudhakaran are serving their terms at the central prison near Bengaluru in a disproportionate assets case.
(With agency inputs)