The Law Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued a new summons to AMMK leader TTV Dhinakaran to appear on April 22 for questioning in a corruption-related money laundering case election commission officials in order to obtain the AIADMK’s “two-leaf” symbol for the VK Sasikala faction, the officials said.
He was grilled and his statement was first recorded by the federal agency here for about 8 a.m. on April 12.
The agency’s notice and investigation against the 58-year-old politician came after the Law Enforcement Branch recently arrested a jailed “crook” and fellow defendant in the case, Sukesh Chandrashekhar.
The next round of questioning scheduled for April 22 is aimed at advancing the investigation, they said.
Leaving the ED office late on April 12, Dhinakaran told reporters that he had cooperated with the agency and answered their questions in the Sukesh Chandrashekhar case.
Chandrashekhar was also questioned by the agency in the case over the past week.
The ED case under the criminal provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) is based on the main FIR field against the accused by the Criminal Branch of the Delhi Police in 2017.
Dhinakaran and Chandrashekhar were then arrested by the criminal branch.
Officials said they taped Chandrashekhar’s statement in the case earlier this month and now they want to grill Dhinakaran and confront him with Chandrashekhar to move the investigation forward.
Chandrashekar was arrested in April 2017 at a five-star hotel by Delhi police for allegedly taking money from Dhinakaran to bribe EC officials to obtain the AIADMK two-leaf symbol for the faction Sasikala in a by-election at the RK Nagar assembly headquarters in Tamil Nadu.
Dhinakaran, who was charged by the police, was arrested by Delhi police after four days of questioning for allegedly trying to bribe EC officials for the symbol.
The indirect vote was necessitated by the death of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa (5 December 2016), who represented the assembly seat. The EC had frozen the AIADMK symbol after the two factions – one led by Dhinakaran’s aunt Sasikala and the other by former chief minister O Panneerselvam – claimed it.
Dhinakaran’s close aide Mallikarjuna was also arrested for allegedly facilitating a Rs 50 crore deal between him and Chandrashekar.
Dhinakaran was Deputy General Secretary of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and was expelled from the party in August 2017 along with Jayalalithaa’s confidante Sasikala. He then launched his political party called Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK).
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)