AIADMK (Amma) leader TTV Dhinakaran has confessed to meeting Sukesh Chandrasekhar, the arrested middleman in the EC bribery case, under the impression that he was a high court judge, police said today. Dhinakaran, who is being grilled by the Delhi Police for the third consecutive day, had so far maintained that did not know Sukesh nor had he met him. The leader, who is accused of trying to bribe an Election Commission official in a bid to retain the ‘two-leaves’ symbol of AIADMK, however, denied having paid any money to Sukesh in this regard, police said. Today, Dhinakaran was questioned for over five hours, with the probe still continuing at the time of filing of this report. He had reached the Crime Branch Inter State Cell office in Chanakyapuri around 3.30 PM, even as the police started by interrogating his personal assistant Janardhan.
They also quizzed his longtime friend Mallikarjuna, who has been accompanying him everywhere ever since Sukesh was arrested, police said. It was only around 6 PM that Dhinakaran’s questioning began, they said. On sustained quizzing, Dhinakaran said he had met Sukesh, who had posed as a high court judge and sought to help him in the matter, police sources said. However, he denied paying money to the middleman, the sources said, adding the Crime Branch officers also confronted Dhinakaran and Sukesh.
The leader had come under scanner after the arrest of the alleged middleman Sukesh and had since maintained having no idea about him. Yesterday he was grilled by the police for 11 hours. The controversial leader was earlier summoned by Delhi Police at his Chennai residence in the case. Having been appointed as deputy general secretary by jailed AIADMK chief V S Sasikala, Dhinakaran has been isolated in his party amid moves to merge rival factions led by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E K Palaniswami and his predecessor O Panneerselvam.
A powerful section of the ruling AIADMK (Amma) recently revolted against Sasikala-Dhinakaran leadership. The development came after Panneerselvam, who is leading the rival faction, demanded ouster of Sasikala and Dhinakaran as a condition for the merger. Dhinakaran later announced he would stay away from party affairs and that he could be removed only by Sasikala. Sasikala is at present serving a four-year jail term in Bengaluru in a disproportionate assets case.