VK Sasikala's Nephew TTV Dinakaran Says 4,000-A-Vote Video Is A Frame-Up

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AIADMK's deputy chief TTV Dinakaran accused main opposition party DMK of trying to frame his party.


In a 45-second video being shared on social media, a man is seen handing out 4,000 rupees each, in crisp 2,000-rupee notes, to three people inside a room. He asks them to vote for the hat, the election symbol of the AIADMK Amma, the VK Sasikala faction. There are women in the room, one holding a baby, and a man who seems to have a voters' list.  

Rival parties have alleged that the man has been caught on camera bribing voters for next week's by-election to the RK Nagar assembly seat in Chennai, which fell vacant when former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa died in December last year.

The AIADMK's deputy chief TTV Dinakaran, who is also the party's candidate for the seat, said these are "false allegations" and accused main opposition party the DMK of trying to frame his party. "The DMK could have done this...just because someone gives money to people during my campaign doesn't mean he is from our party," said Mr Dinakaran.

Meanwhile, DMK spokesperson A Saravanan said, "There's rampant buying of votes by Sasikala camp to somehow win or to get polls postponed as they can't win."

Tamil Nadu's Chief Electoral Officer Rajesh Lakhoni said the poll panel has received several complaints and these have been "forwarded to the six poll observers. They are probing." Today, the Election Commission transferred 22 police officers including five IPS officers from RK Nagar.

While the Returning Officer in RK Nagar could not be contacted, another officer said a few people from the AIADMK Amma were arrested last night following similar complaints. Last week, a man was arrested after a video showed him handing over money to voters and asking them to vote for Dinakaran at a rally that the politician was addressing. He had blamed the DMK then too, saying, a "probe will reveal the truth". The DMK has rubbished the allegation.

Mr Dinakaran is the nephew of Ms Jayalalithaa's longtime companion VK Sasikala, who is now in jail in a corruption case. The AIADMK had elected Ms Sasikala to take Ms Jayalalithaa's place as party chief soon after the latter's death, but when she sought to replace partyman O Panneerselvam as Chief Minister, he rebelled and the party split.

O Panneerselvam or OPS's faction the AIADMK Purathchi Thalaivi Amma has fielded veteran leader E Madhusudanan in RK Nagar against Mr Dinakaran. Ms Jayalalithaa's niece Deepa Jaykumar is also contesting the by-election. All three stake claim to the legacy of Ms Jayalalithaa or Amma.

The DMK expects the AIADMK vote to be divided among the three candidates and believes it is in position to wrest the constituency represented by Ms Jayalalithaa two times. The DMK has fielded Marudhu Ganesh.


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