Sukesh ‘promised’ Dhinakaran to use his ‘influence’

Sukesh Chandrasekhar, who was arrested in connection with attempted bribery of Election Commission officials, “promised” AIADMK (Amma) leader TTV Dhinakaran to use his “influence” to settle the symbol issue in his faction’s favour, police has claimed.

Sukesh and Dhinakaran agreed for a Rs 50 crore deal and a large amount was transferred through hawala channel with the money ultimately reaching a hawala operator in Chandni Chowk from Kochi, sources said as police started investigating the money trail.

Sources said around Rs 10 crore has been transfered to Delhi through hawala channels.

When he was arrested, Sukesh was allegedly in possession of Rs 1.30 crore, all in denomination of new Rs 2,000 notes, investigators said. His arrest in the wee hours of Sunday came a day before the EC was likely to hear the Tamil Nadu matter, they said.

Armed with information that Sukesh was staying in the hotel with huge amount of cash, the police went to his room but he denied that he was in possession the money. However, while checking, police team found a multi-colour bag in which the money was there and Income Tax Department was informed about the recovery of new notes.

According to police report, Sukesh was “falsely impersonating” as an MP by using Mercedez Benz with MP painted on the front and rear registration plates and “in conspiracy” with TTV Dhinakaran, he was trying to “obtain a favourable” order in Election Commission on the pending petition for Two Leaves symbol.

Police also claimed that they have recovered recordings of his purported telephonic conversations with Dinakaran and a retired bureaucrat. However, they said, only a forensic analysis would establish whether it was actually with Dinakaran whom he was speaking.

Investigators are also verifying whether Dinakaran first met Sukesh for help or it was the otherway round with the youth approaching the leader with a promise to help in his faction getting the ‘Two Leaves’ symbol and declared orginal AIADMK.

The Sasikala faction and O Paneerselvam faction in AIADMK are in a bitter fight for control of the party, which prompted the EC to freeze the symbol.

The investigators are also looking into the meetings Sukesh had in the capital in the past ten days. They are also looking into whether Sukesh managed to convince officials to help Dhinakaran.

The Delhi Police team also decided to postpone its Tuesday trip to Chennai to serve summons to Dhinakaran. The investigators want to connect certain dots before asking Dinakaran to join the probe, sources said.

The police case comes at a wrong time for Dinakaran as his faction MLAs had last week expressed reservations about his continuation in the party. They felt that the Income Tax raid on a Minister was basically due to Dinakaran’s action.

The case also triggered unity talks between the two factions sans Dhinakaran and Sasikala, who is in Bengaluru jail following her conviction in a disproportionate assets case.

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on Apr 19, 2017)

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