Five days after he was made to step down as deputy general secretary of the AIADMK, T T V Dinakaran, nephew of the jailed party general secretary V K Sasikala, and his friend Mallikarjuna were arrested Tuesday night by Delhi Police for allegedly trying to bribe an Election Commission official to get the two-leaves symbol during the bypoll to the R K Nagar assembly seat in Tamil Nadu.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Praveer Ranjan confirmed the arrest of the two men but declined to go into details. Police sources said Dinakaran and Mallikarjuna were arrested after being questioned at length Tuesday. In a related development, police custody of arrested middleman Sukesh Chandrasekhar was extended until April 28.
The Election Commission had frozen the AIADMK’s two-leaves symbol after factions led by Sasikala and former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam staked claim to it. The bypoll to the R K Nagar assembly seat, slated for April 12, was cancelled after the EC said the electoral process had been “seriously vitiated” by money power. Dinakaran was the candidate of the Sasikala faction.
Sources said Dinakaran was placed under arrest after he admitted during questioning that he knew Sukesh who had met him through an advocate. “Initially, Dinakaran did not admit that he met Sukesh. But he broke down after police showed him call detail records of his phone which showed they were in constant touch. He was also shown a CD, recovered from Sukesh, which had recordings of their phone conversation,” sources said.
During questioning, Dinakaran claimed Sukesh posed as a judge and assured him about a review petition on behalf of the jailed Sasikala. Sources said Dinakaran was called by police at 5 pm and was questioned together with his personal assistant Janardhan and Mallikarjuna.
Dinakaran denied having paid any money to Sukesh for the two-leaves symbol. During questioning, he said Sukesh had told him that he would file a review petition on behalf of Sasikala. She is serving a jail term in a disproportionate assets case and was convicted by the Supreme Court.