Politics

Sasikala Banners Removed From AIADMK Headquarters, Hours After Dhinakaran’s Arrest

The stage is now set for the two rival AIADMK camps to merge.

New Delhi: Banners featuring AIADMK general secretary V.K. Sasikala were removed from the party headquarters in Chennai, hours after her nephew T.T.V. Dhinakaran was arrested by the Delhi police for allegedly attempting to bribe an Election Commission (EC) official to get the party’s ‘two leaves’ symbol for his faction. The move also comes after the rival Panneerselvam camp demanded the ouster of Sasikala and Dhinakaran as a condition for merger talks.

Dhinakaran was arrested after four days of questioning by the police. His aide Mallikarjuna was also arrested for allegedly facilitating the deal with middleman Sukesh Chandrasekar to secure their faction the two-leaf symbol. The symbol has been frozen by the EC after the Sasikala and Panneerselvam factions laid claim to it.

Dhinakaran, who was expelled from the AIADMK by Jayalalithaa, was reinducted by Sasikala and appointed the party’s deputy general secretary in February just before she began to serve the remainder of her jail term in the disproportionate assets case.

Mallikarjuna had been accompanying Dhinakaran everywhere ever since Chandrasekar was arrested on April 16. The three will now be questioned together to establish the money trail, details of the deal and whether more people were involved in it.

After four of questioning, Dhinakaran confessed to meeting Chandrasekar, saying he thought he was a high court judge, but denied paying him any money, the Delhi police has said. He had previously said he had never met Dhinakaran.

 

Following his arrest, Dhinakaran is now even more isolated in his party as the two factions move to merge.

(With PTI inputs)