After four days of interrogation, Delhi police has arrested AIADMK Chief Secretary TTV Dinakaran at midnight today, accused of attempting to bribe Election Commission officials to reclaim the party’s disputed and now frozen “two leaves” symbol. His aide Mallikarjuna was also arrested who sheltered him when police was looking for him.
Police say 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.
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.
Mr Dinakaran is 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.