The Sasikala faction of the AIADMK is in trouble as her nephew TTV Dinakaran has been booked by the Delhi Police for trying to bribe Election Commission officials.
Delhi’s Crime Branch today registered a case against Sasikala’s nephew TTV Dinakaran for trying to bribe the Election Commission of India for the AIADMK’s symbol.
The case comes after the arrest of an alleged middleman named Sukesh Chandrasekhar from Hyatt hotel on Sunday night. Delhi Police chief spokesperson Dependra Pathak confirmed the arrest.
PRO Madhur Verma said the accused had been picked up from Hyatt hotel on a tip off. “He will be produced before a magistrate,” he said.
At least Rs 1.3 crore has been recovered from Chandrasekhar, police said, which he was planning to use to bribe EC officials with. In total, around Rs 50 crore were to be paid as bribe, reports indicated.
Dinakaran, through his agent, reportedly tried to bribe the Election Commission to get the original two leaves symbol of the AIADMK. However, the Commission froze the symbol and the Sasikala faction adopted the hat symbol.
An FIR has been filed under Section 8 of the Prevention of the Corruption Act. The section pertains to taking gratification, in order, by corrupt or illegal means, to influence public servant. Section 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC has also been invoked.
Dinakaran will soon be served notice to join the investigation, police said.
Sources said Joint Commissioner Praveer Ranjan has formed a special team comprising sleuths of the inter-state cell of crime branch to probe the high profile case.
But Dinakaran denied the charges and said he had not spoken to any middleman.
Talking to reporters in Chennai while on his way to Bengaluru to meet his aunt, V K Sasikala, he said, “I haven’t bribed anyone. If I get a summons, I will face it legally.”
Dinakaran said had not spoken to middleman called Sukesh Chandrasekar.
“Such news is being spread to destroy the party. It is wrong to even say that I spoke to an individual by name Sukesh Chandrasekar. I have not spoken to anyone by that name,” he added.
Dinakaran is known to adopt shady means. It is precisely for his shady deal that he was once kicked out of the party by the then supremo of AIADMK Jayalalithaa. He was also told not to step into Poes Garden by Jayalalithaa.
But after the demise of Jayalalithaa, Sasikala rehabilitated Dinakaran by breaking party rules in order to wrest control over the AIADMK.
The present case against Dinakaran comes even as the bypoll to the RK Nagar constituency in Chennai had to be cancelled as the Sasikala faction was accused of trying to bribe voters. The residences of Health Minister Vijayabhaskar and actor Sharat were raided by tax officials and a stockpile of money was seized.
Both Dinakaran and his aunt Sasikala, who is now in the Parapana Agrahara jail in Bengaluru, wrested the power reins of the AIADMK through questionable means following the demise of Jayalalithaa. There are reports that the two are much hated among the grassroot workers of the AIADMK.
The two are only supported by ministers for their selfish ends as they have four more years in power in Tamil Nadu.
But of late there are reports of a section of ministers revolting against him and seeking his resignation as party deputy general secretary.
Should there be an attempt to dethrone him from the key party deputy general secretary post, Dinakaran is banking on a few MLAs to not only bail him out, but also bring down the Edappadi Palaniswami government.
A confidante of Dinakaran was quoted in the Times of India as saying: “Let the ministers revolt against Dinakaran, he enjoys the support of 38 MLAs. The government will not survive.”