NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued fresh summons to AMMK leader TTV Dhinakaran to appear on April 22 for questioning here in a money laundering case linked to alleged bribing of Election Commission officials to get the AIADMK's 'two leaves' symbol for the VK Sasikala faction, officials said.
He was grilled and his statement was recorded for the first time by the federal agency here for about 8 hours on April 12. The agency's notice and investigation against the 58-year-old politician came after the Enforcement Directorate recently arrested jailed 'conman' and another accused in this case, Sukesh Chandrashekhar.
The next round of questioning scheduled for April 22 is aimed to take the probe forward, they said. While exiting the ED office late night on April 12, Dhinakaran told reporters that he cooperated with the agency and replied to their questions in the Sukesh Chandrashekhar case.
Chandrashekhar too is being grilled by the agency in the case over the last week. The ED case under the criminal provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) is based on the primary FIR field against the accused by the Delhi Police crime branch in 2017.
Both Dhinakaran and Chandrashekhar were arrested by the crime branch then. Officials had said that they have recorded the statement of Chandrashekhar in this case early this month and now they want to grill Dhinakaran and confront him with Chandrashekhar to take the probe forward.
Chandrashekar was arrested in April 2017 from a five star hotel by the Delhi Police for allegedly taking money from Dhinakaran to bribe EC officials to get the AIADMK's two leaves symbol for the Sasikala faction in a by-election to the RK Nagar assembly seat in Tamil Nadu.
Dhinakaran, who has been charge sheeted by the police, was arrested by the Delhi Police after four days of questioning for allegedly attempting to bribe EC officials for the symbol. The bypoll was necessitated by the death of the then Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa (on December 5, 2016), who represented the assembly seat.
The EC had frozen the AIADMK's symbol after the two factions -- one led by Dhinakaran's aunt Sasikala and the other by former chief minister O Panneerselvam -- staked a claim to it. Dhinakaran's close aide Mallikarjuna was also arrested for allegedly facilitating a Rs 50 crore deal between him and Chandrashekar.
Dhinakaran was the deputy general secretary of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and was expelled from the party in August 2017 along with Jayalalithaa's confidante Sasikala. He later launched his political party called the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK).