The Delhi Police has registered an FIR against the Sasikala loyalist and AIADMK deputy general secretary TTV Dhinakaran for allegedly trying to bribe an Election Commission official to get the ‘two leaves’ poll symbol in the by-election to R K Nagar Assembly seat. The Delhi police also said Dinakaran was willing to pay 50 crores to win rights to the symbol.
Dhinakaran, a leader of the AIADMK faction led by his jailed aunt V K Sasikala, was booked following the arrest of Sukesh Chandrasekhar, a middleman, from a five-star hotel in New Delhi on Sunday.
“It has been learnt that Sukesh had struck a deal for Rs. 50 crore for helping the AIADMK faction keep the ‘two leaves’ symbol. Police has recovered Rs. 1.30 crore from Sukesh and two cars — a BMW and a Mercedes — have also been seized,” said a senior police officer.
We had information that the leader was paying Rs 50 crore to some officials to get a desired symbol for his party. He had contacted middleman Subhash Chander and also paid some moneyMadhur Verma, Deputy commissioner of police
Sukesh is being interrogated to know about his profile and his connection with any EC official, he said.
The Election Commission had frozen AIADMK’s ‘two leaves’ symbol after the two factions led by Sasikala and former chief minister O Panneerselvam staked claim to it.
The faction led by its general secretary Sasikala, jailed in a disproportionate assets case, later opted for the ‘hat’ symbol.
The bypoll to the R K Nagar Assembly constituency in Tamil Nadu was scheduled for 12 April, but the Election Commission cancelled it, saying the electoral process had been “seriously vitiated” by parties through use of money power.
Dhinakaran was the candidate for the Sasikala faction.
The seat fell vacant after the death of the then chief minister J Jayalalithaa on 5 December and the bypoll is being viewed as a battle of prestige for the two factions of the AIADMK.