By T.E. Manavalan
There were lot of shocking and surprising developments in AIADMK after the death of former CM Jayalalithaa on Dec 5 last year last year. In the last 142 days, we have seen 2 chief ministers and when the third change of guard was planned by none other than the Sasikala clan Dinakaran, the tsunami of political shocks changed its path and Dinakaran himself was arrested yesterday midnight in an alleged scandal in which he is accused to have tried his hand in bribing EC officials thru a middle man to reclaim the party symbol Two leaves.
Let us rewind a little bit to recap as to how Dinakaran moved his coins cleverly to gain control over the party and government. O Panneerselvam became the CM in midnight on the day of the passing away of Jayalalithaa and it was believed that he was not Sasikala's choice but in buying peace with the central govt, she agreed for OPS to become the CM. Shortly, on the request of party seniors including OPS, Sasikala was nominated as the interim Gen Secretary of the party tightening her grip over the entire control of the party. OPS was ruling the state for about two months and he was seen to be in the good books of BJP and even political experts opined that he has allowed BJP to rule the state thro back doors.
Suddenly a couple of state ministers and the Lok sabha deputy speaker raised their voices saying that the party and the Govt must be led by one person for the effective functioning of the administration and soon OPS was asked to resign and Sasikala was elected by the MLAs to lead the Govt also. In a shocking development, OPS went and meditated in Jaya's memorial and on coming out revolted against Sasikala becoming the CM and the state administration was paralyzed. On the one side when preparations were in full swing for the swearing in of Sasikala, the Governor was weighing all options before him as the Supreme court was about to pronounce its judgment on the disproportionate assets case in which Jayalalithaa, Sasikala, and two others were the accused. The SC dashed all hopes of Sasikala when the bench gave the verdict against Sasikala and others and she was imprisoned for 4 years and was sent to Bengaluru Jail.
The Sasikala camp got a shock of its life and before she proceeded to surrender in the Bengaluru court readmitted Dinakaran in the party and made him the Deputy Gen Secretary and in the meanwhile Edappadi Palanisamy who was Sasikala's choice was elected as the legislature party head and finally after ugly scenes of MLAs captivity in Koovathur resorts Palanisamy won the no-confidence motion in the assembly and came to stay as CM.
The OPS camp started taking all issues to the people and Sasikala and her coterie was not liked by many in the party and also in the general public. This sentiment was well capitalized by the OPS group and they were waiting for an opportunity to strike and the announcement for the RK Nagar Nagar by-election was the turning point. Both the factions of the AIADMK claimed for the party symbol and the EC after proper hearing frozen the symbol. Dinakaran who made himself as the candidate was accused of indulging in bribing the voters and after the IT raids in Vijayabaskar(Dinakaran supporter) residence, it was alleged that there was a scandal to the tune of 89 crores in Cash for vote scam and the Byelection was suspended by the EC.
Added to all these confusions and chaos , the Delhi Police suddenly arrested a person named Sukesh Chander with 1.30 crores cash. On further questioning , the police said that he was hired by Dinakaran to bribe EC officilas to the tune of Rs.50 crores to reclaim the two leaves party symbol. It was also alleged that 10 crores of rupees cash was given to Sukesh as advance money thro hawala route. Based on Sukesh arrest, summons were issued to TTV Dinakaran to appear before the Delhi Police on 22nd April.
The Delhi police conducted a marathon enquiry with Dinakaran and two of his assistants for 37 hours and finally arrested him on the midnight of 25 th April based on the crucial evidence of audio tapes purported to contain the telephonic dialogue between Dinakaran and Sukesh chander. Cases have been registerd against Dinakaran under three sections . The Delhi police says that they have raised 100 questions to Dinakartan and he mostly answered in one word saying Yes or No and further these questions were asked to Sukesh also and after getting his reply proceeded on arresting Dinakaran. The Delhi Police claims that they arrested Dinakaran after confirming to have evidence against him in EC bribery scandal.
His accomplice Mallikarajuna has also been arrested in this case.
Dinakaran's arrest has sent shockwaves across the state and people are watching the developments more eagerly as the OPS camp has laid Sasikala family's ouster from the party and dismissal of both Sasikala and Dinakaran as Gen Sec and Deputy Gen Sec as a precondition for the merger of the rival factions. Now with both Sasikala and Dinakaran in Jail, it is to be seen whether a united AIADMK will emerge and if so the most intriguing question who will be TamilNadu CM?