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Delhi Police file case against Sasikala nephew Dinakaran for attempting to bribe Election Commission

Dinakaran, who is considered to be a close Sasikala aide, will be served notice to join the investigation. Photograph: (Twitter)

WION New Delhi, India Apr 17, 2017, 05.56 AM (IST)

The Delhi Police has registered a case against  TTV Dinakaran, deputy secretary of Tamil Nadu's ruling AIADMK for attempting to bribe the Election Commission for the party's "two leaves" symbol.

The police action against Dinakaran -- nephew of AIADMK chief Sasikala -- comes after the arrest of an alleged middleman, Sukesh Chandrasekhar, from the national capital's Hyatt hotel Sunday night.

Dinkaran has denied the allegations against him.

Delhi Police say at least Rs 1.3 crore has been recovered from Chandrasekhar, and claim he was planning to use the money to bribe Election Commission officials. Police state around Rs 50 crores were to be paid as bribe, a senior police officer told PTI.

"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 have recovered Rs 1.30 crore from Sukesh and two cars -- a BMW and a Mercedes -- have also been seized," said a senior police officer.

Dinakaran, who is considered to be a close Sasikala aide, will be served notice to join the investigation, police said. 

The Election Commission had cancelled the by-election for Jayalalithaa's constituency of RK Nagar in Chennai, saying the electoral process had been "seriously vitiated" by parties through use of money power.The poll body has not yet decided on a new date for voting for the election which was originally scheduled for April 12.

The AIADMK's "two leaves" party symbol had been blocked by the Election Commission last month after rival factions led by Tamil Nadu chief minister K Palaniswamy and former chief minister O Panneerselvam staked claim to it ahead of a by-poll necessitated by the death of former AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa.

The poll body, meanwhile, has not ruled yet on which group is the "real AIADMK" and consequently has the right over the original AIADMK party symbol. 

The AIADMK had split into two factions after the death of Jayalalithaa. Her close aide VK Sasikala was named the new party chief but was jailed within weeks after the top court found her guilty in a disproportionate assets case. Sasikala placed Dinakaran in-charge of the party before heading to jail.

The Sasikala faction contested the by-elections on the "hat" symbol after the the two leaves symbol was frozen by the Election Commission, acknowledging the split in the party.

The Delhi police case against Dinakaran comes amid a major crisis in the Tamil Nadu government. A section of ministers have revolted against him and are seeking his resignation as AIADMK deputy general secretary.

Dinakaran, who apparently enjoys the support of 38 MLAs, is likely to bring down the Palaniswami government, in the eventuality of a revolt against him, his confidante was quoted as saying.

(WION with inputs from PTI)

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