AIADMK (Amma) Deputy General Secretary TTV Dhinakaran, who was recently released on bail after being in jail for a month in the Election Commission bribery case, today said he would prove his innocence. After being lodged in Tihar jail in Delhi, the leader arrived here to a rousing welcome by his supporters. “I will prove that I am innocent,” he said. Before taking a flight to Chennai, Dhinakaran said in the national capital that he would “continue party work,” a remark which kicked up a fresh row on his role in AIADMK since he had in April said that he was stepping aside from political activities.
“Nobody announced that I have been expelled from the party and the power to do that lies with the general secretary,” he said. Asked if the Tamil Nadu government had bowed before the Centre, the AIADMK (Amma) leader denied it, adding there were only “friendly ties”.
Dhinakaran had announced in April that he was “stepping aside”, days after state ministers said that he and his family would be kept out of the party and the government. Reacting to the remarks, Tamil Nadu Finance Minister D Jayakumar said if he (Dhinakaran) wanted to continue the (party) work…the matter will be decided by a party panel that looks into such matters.
Forest Minister Dindigul C Srinivasan said in Dindigul, “everyone has a right to carry out party work, there is nothing wrong in it..what is the problem …is it not their right? “No one ousted him from the party. He himself had said that he was stepping aside,” Srinivasan said, adding Dhinakaran was right when he had said that only the general secretary had the authority to decide on the matter.
Further, Municipal Administration Minister S P Velumani said in Coimbatore that all such matters, including support on the presidential polls, would be decided by Chief Minister K Palaniswami. On June 1, Dhinakaran was granted bail by a special court in Delhi on the ground that the poll officials who were to be lured for getting undivided AIADMK’s ‘two leaves’ symbol, had not been identified.
He was arrested by the Delhi Police Crime Branch on April 25 after four days of questioning for allegedly attempting to bribe unidentified EC officials to get the undivided AIADMK’s election symbol. Dhinakaran’s faction had hoped to obtain the symbol for the bypoll to R K Nagar Assembly seat in Tamil Nadu, which was later cancelled by the EC after alleged irregularities were reported in the media.
The by poll was necessitated following the death of Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa who was elected from the constituency. The EC had frozen AIADMK’s symbol after the two factions – one led by Dhinakaran’s aunt Sasikala and the other by former chief minister O Panneerselvam — staked claim to it.