ALSO READThambidurai hails Palanisamy's appointment, vows to carry forward Amma's legacy 70 mobile teams of micro observers Delhi Police books Dinakaran for trying to 'bribe' EC official EC tells AIADMK-Anna to stop using 'two leaves' symbol EC tells AIADMK factions to stop using 'Two Leaves' symbol
The Delhi Police today booked AIADMK (Amma) leader TTV Dhinakaran for allegedly trying to bribe an Election Commission official for obtaining the party symbol for his faction following the arrest of an alleged middleman.
Dhinakaran, who is a nephew of AIADMK(Amma) chief VK Sasikala and party's deputy general secretary, denied the allegation against him, calling it false.
Dhinakaran further said that he did not try to bribe anybody and that he had no knowledge of the alleged middleman.
The crime branch of the Delhi police claimed Dhinakaran was trying to ensure that his party was allotted the AIADMK poll symbol of two leaves for the April 12 by-election to the R K Nagar Assembly seat in Chennai that has since been cancelled over the use of money power to influence voters. Dhinakaran was the candidate of the Sasikala faction.
An FIR against Dhinakaran was filed following the arrest of Sukesh Chandrasekhar, an alleged middleman, from a five- star hotel in Delhi yesterday, a senior police officer said.
"It has been learnt that Sukesh had struck a deal for Rs 50 crore for helping the AIADMK faction to keep the 'two leaves' symbol. Police have recovered Rs 1.30 crore from Sukesh. Two cars -- a BMW and a Mercedes -- have also been seized," the officer said.
The officer further said that a Delhi Police team may visit Chennai to question Dhinakaran.
"I didn't bribe anybody," said Dhinakaran, whose aunt Sasikala was late Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa's aide.
"How does a broker or somebody say the money was from TTV Dhinakaran? I don't know anybody by that name (Chandrasekhar)," he told reporters in Chennai before leaving for Bengaluru to meet Sasikala, who is in jail in connection with the disproportionate assets case.
Dhinakaran said he had not received any summons or communication from the Delhi Police.
"I will answer if I get the summons. I will face it legally," he said. "It is basically wrong to say that Sukesh has spoken to me. I don't know any such person. I don't know what the plan is and who is behind it," he added.
The police are, however, probing Chandrasekhar's links with Election Commission officials and with Dhinakaran.
Dhinakaran claimed that the bribery allegation against him was being spread to "destroy our organisation politically".
The party's deputy general secretary also denied reports that there was a revolt against him by some ministers in Tamil Nadu.
He reiterated that no minister had asked him to step down, and denied he was meeting Sasikala to apprise her of a "rift" in the party.
"I have already told you, there is no rift. The other day, ministers had only come to wish me for the Tamil New Year. This (issue) has been going on that after the bypoll I would be removed. There is no such move. This is a planned campaign of lies," he said.
Dhinakaran added that his faction had sought more time from the EC on the symbol issue.
The EC had frozen AIADMK's symbol after two factions -- led by Sasikala and former chief minister O Panneerselvam -- staked a claim to it.
The bypoll to the R K Nagar Assembly constituency was scheduled for April 12, but the EC cancelled it, saying the electoral process had been "seriously vitiated" by parties through the use of money power.
The bypoll was necessitated following the death of then Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on December 5.
On his meeting with Sasikala today, Dhinakaran said he had scheduled a visit because he had not met her for some time.
"She (Sasikala) is my aunt. The visit is to meet my aunt who is the general secretary of the AIADMK," he said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)