Delhi police seeks extension of Sukesh's custody

The police also told the court that Dinakaran has given evasive answers during the questioning, and therefore, more time was needed to seek clarity. However, later on, he is said to have confessed before the police about meeting Sukesh and also trying to strike a deal for the AIADMK symbol.

Dinakaran, a nephew of jailed AIADMK party chief VK Sasikala, is accused of attempting to bribe an Election Commission official for retaining the party's poll symbol of "two-leaves" for his faction. "He was arrested for arranging money from undisclosed sources and getting money transferred through illegal channels from Chennai-Delhi", Madhur Verma, DCP (Crime), Delhi Police, said.

Police will also be confronting Dhinakaran and Mallikarjuna along with the arrested middleman, Sukesh Chandrasekar, to get the details of the money trail and the phone conversations between them.

Earlier in the day, the police produced Chandrasekar before a special court, which extended his custody till April 28. The fresh development came after two days of rigorous questioning of the leader by the Delhi police.

The Panneerselvam camp welcomed the move and called it a "positive step" amid the merger talks.

The police had seized Rs 1.3 crore from Chandrasekar, along with a BMW and a Mercedes.

Sources said the OPS faction held a series of discussions with chief minister Palaniswami's emissaries, soon after Dinakaran's arrest.

It has been learnt that he had allegedly struck a deal for Rs 50 crore for helping the AIADMK faction keep the "two leaves" symbol.

The poll panel had frozen the symbol ahead of the RK Nagar bypolls in Tamil Nadu due to differences between Sasikala and former Tamil Nadu chief minister O Panneerselvam, which eventually led to a split in AIADMK.

The Panneerselvam camp on 20 April discussed the developments in the ruling AIADMK, which has made a decision to sideline Sasikala and Dinakaran and let a panel of leaders run the party.

Around 8 am on Wednesday, party workers tore down the life-size banners of Sasikala from the AIADMK office.

  • Leroy Wright