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AIADMK crisis: Sasikala banners removed from office, TTV Dinakaran arrested

LiveMint logoLiveMint 26-04-2017 PTI

Chennai/New Delhi: Banners featuring All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) general secretary V.K. Sasikala were removed from the party headquarters on Wednesday morning, a day after the rival O. Panneerselvam camp made a demand to “uphold the sanctity” of the party office.

The Panneerselvam camp welcomed the move, saying it was a “positive step”.

On Tuesday, the “presidium chairman” of the Panneerselvam faction, E. Madusudanan, had demanded that the portraits of Sasikala be removed from the party office to “uphold the sanctity” of the AIADMK headquarters.

“This is definitely a positive step,” ‘Aspire’ K. Swaminathan, media coordinator of the Panneerselvam camp told PTI. He also said the move came in “continuance” to Madusudanan’s appeal, adding, “We are happy the cadres have decided to remove the banners.”

Panneerselvam had on Tuesday said that a “conducive” atmosphere was evolving in both camps for talks.

The demand for removal of Sasikala’s portraits from the AIADMK headquarters came amid merger talks between the Panneerselvam faction and the one led by Tamil Nadu chief minister K. Palaniswami. For the merger talks to continue, the Panneerselvam camp had sought the removal of general secretary Sasikala, her nephew and deputy TTV Dinakaran and their family members from the AIADMK.

While Sasikala is lodged in a Bengaluru jail for the disproportionate assets case, Dinakaran was arrested on Tuesday night after four days of questioning by the Delhi police for allegedly attempting to bribe an Election Commission official to get the undivided AIADMK’s “two leaves” election symbol for his faction.

Dinakaran reached the Crime Branch Inter State Cell office in Chanakyapuri at 5pm on Tuesday, and was arrested after being questioned for close to six hours, Praveer Ranjan, joint commissioner of police (crime), said.

His long-time friend Mallikarjuna was also arrested for allegedly facilitating the deal between the leader and Sukesh Chandrasekar, the middleman in the EC bribery case.

Dinakaran, Mallikarjuna and Chandrasekar will be questioned together to establish the money trail, details of the deal and whether more people were involved in it. PTI

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