The Delhi Police on Monday filed an FIR against All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s Deputy General Secretary TTV Dinakaran for offering to bribe the Election Commission to get hold of the party’s frozen “two-leaves” symbol. The police arrested Sukesh Chandrasekhar, the alleged middleman, from a hotel room in Delhi on Sunday night while seizing a BMW and Mercedes from him, reported News18. He will be produced at the Tees Hazari Court on Monday, it added.
Chandrasekhar had told Dinakaran that the AIADMK party’s “two leaves” symbol will go to the VK Sasikala faction if he was paid Rs 50 crore. An FIR under Section 170, Section 120B and Section 8 of the Prevention of the Corruption Act had been filed by the Delhi Police Crime Branch, according to ANI. He will be served a notice to join the investigation, The Times of India reported, quoting unidentified officials.
Dinakaran, who is Sasikala’s nephew, has denied knowing Chandrasekhar and all allegations of bribery. Calling it an attempt to destroy the political party, he said he would fight the case legally. “Such information is being spread to destroy our organisation politically. It is basically wrong to say that Sukesh has spoken to me. I don’t know any such person. I don’t know what is the plan and who is doing it,” he said, according to PTI.
Dinakaran was scheduled to meet Sasikala in Bengaluru Central Jail on Monday but the trip was postponed. Meanwhile, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the chief opposition party in Tamil Nadu, reacted to the controversy and said it reeked of “desperation” on Sasikala’s part. “It is very shameful that they (AIADMK) have gone to the extent of bribing the Election Commission. If they have the majority then they should prove it. But if they are bribing the Election Commission then it proves that they don’t have the majority,” DMK senior leader TKS Elangovan told ANI.
On March 22, the Election Commission had frozen the party’s symbol ahead of the bye-elections for the RK Nagar seat, which held by J Jayalalithaa before she died. The move by the poll panel had come after AIADMK’s two factions, led by O Panneerselvam and VK Sasikala, had staked their claim to the symbol.
On April 10, the Election Commission had called off the by-elections in RK Nagar constituency after allegations arose that parties were bribing the electorate for votes.
Dinakaran was fielded by the Sasikala faction for the seat, which had fallen vacant after former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa died on December 5. Dinakaran had been expelled from the party by Jayalalithaa five years ago for allegedly interfering in government functioning. But, AIADMK General Secretary Sasikala had re-inducted Dinakaran on February 15, and after her arrest in the disproportionate assets case, he was made the party’s Deputy General Secretary.