AIADMK leader TTV Dinakaran left for Delhi this morning to appear before the police in a probe over a deal to allegedly bribe an Election Commission official to get the ‘two-leaves’ symbol for his faction of the party. He had been served summons by a team of the Delhi Police at his Chennai residence for joining a probe on Wednesday just minutes before midnight.
The Delhi Police had issued a lookout notice against the leader on Tuesday after inputs that Mr Dinakaran was an NRI and could try to flee the country. However, Mr Dinakaran virtually questioned the need for the lookout notice, saying how could he flee the country when his passport was “in court” for 20 years.
The police had earlier arrested a middleman named Sukash Chandrasekar, who was allegedly trying to fix a deal with Election Commission officials to get the Dinakaran faction the ‘two-leaves’ party symbol.
Police got on 27-year-old Chandrashekhar’s trail after they received a tip-off from an informer about certain Election Commission officials being approached. Sources said that he had struck a deal for Rs. 50 crore for helping the AIADMK faction keep the ‘two leaves’ symbol.
Mr Dinakaran, who is the AIADMK (Amma) Deputy General Secretary, is already facing a rebellion in Chennai, as his faction of the party has decided that both Mr Dinakaran and his aunt, VK Sasikala, who is the party chief, would be evicted from their positions. That move is aimed at facilitating a merger with a rival, though much smaller faction of the AIADMK, led by former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam.
When J Jayalalithaa died as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, her party, the AIADMK, quickly promoted her live-in aide, VK Sasikala, as its chief. O Panneerselvam, who was a regular stand-in for Ms Jayalalithaa while she was alive, was made Chief Minister. But then Ms Sasikala decided to become Chief Minister herself, prompting a revolt by Mr Panneerselvam. A dramatic plot twist was provided by the Supreme Court which in February sentenced her to jail for corruption.
Before heading to prison, Ms Sasikala placed her nephew in charge of the party and a loyalist, E Palaniswami as Chief Minister.
But Mr Dinakaran’s disrepute – he has been named in serious corruption swindles – has isolated him within the faction of the AIADMK that is in power.
With inputs from PTI