New Delhi: TTV Dinakaran, the deputy chief of Tamil Nadu's ruling party the AIADMK, was arrested by the Delhi Police close to midnight on Tuesday. Mr Dinakaran, who was questioned by the Crime Branch of the Delhi Police in the national capital for four consecutive days, is accused of attempting to bribe Election Commission officials to allot his faction of the AIADMK, the party's Two-Leaf symbol, frozen by the poll panel after a dispute.
- TTV Dinakaran arrested after questioning in cash-for-symbol case
- His associate Mallikarjun also arrested for sheltering Dinakaran
- Dinakaran and his aunt Sasikala are facing a party rebellion in Chennai
Along with 53-year-old Mr Dinakaran, his friend Mallikarjuna has also been arrested. Mallikarjuna is alleged to have sheltered Mr Dinakaran despite the police looking for him. They will be produced in a court in Delhi around 2 pm today.
Police says Mr Dinakaran had confessed to meeting Sukesh Chandrasekar, the middleman who was earlier arrested in the case. However, the AIADMK leader maintains that he did not pay any money to Mr Chandrasekar, and has denied the allegations against him.
Mr Chandrasekar was arrested from a South Delhi hotel on April 16 allegedly with Rs 1.3 crore that was meant for bribing poll panel officials. He reportedly told the police he was Mr Dinakaran's "middleman" and was asked to pay the money to the officials for allotting the 'two leaves' party symbol to Mr Dinakaran's faction of the AIADMK.
Earlier on Tuesday, a court in Delhi had asked the police why it has not taken any action against Mr Dinakaran, nephew of jailed AIADMK chief VK Sasikala, over bribery allegations.
Mr Dinakaran is facing a rebellion in Chennai, as his faction of the party has decided that both Mr Dinakaran and Ms Sasikala 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.