After three days of continuous grilling, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader T.T.V. Dinakaran has finally accepted that he met Sukesh Chandrashekhar, the man alleged to be the middleman in his bribery dealing with the Election Commission of India (ECI).
Dinakaran, sources say, initially refused to have known Sukesh. He later accepted meeting him when Sukesh himself gave the details of his meeting with the former.
Dinakaran, who is accused of trying to bribe an Election Commission official in a bid to retain the 'two leaves' symbol of the AIADMK, however, maintained that he did not pay any money to Sukesh.
The Crime Branch of the Delhi Police now has to establish the possible reasons for which the two might have met. For this, they have sought the help of the EC official who helped him dealing with the poll watchdog. Searches are also being conducted at Sukesh's Kochi residence to trace the amount paid to him.
Details of calls made and received, and messages sent and received are also being sought. It is being said that the Crime Branch is trying to get to the core of the issue and believes a nexus is at work, which is run by a higher authority.
Hence, there is no respite for the AIADMK leader as he has been called for questioning again today at 5 p.m.
Dinakaran's lawyer has also been asked to appear at the Crime Branch office at 11 a.m. today, while his Personal Assistant (PA) Janardhanan has been summoned at 2 p.m.
Earlier on Sunday, Dinakaran was cross-examined along with his 'friend' Mallikarjuna and P.A. Janardhanan, sources state.
They were quizzed about the money trail of the alleged bribe. Also, the matter of Dinakaran staying over with Mallikarjuna for around 10 days after a FIR was filed against him was also brought up during the interrogation.
On Saturday, Dinakaran was given a set of questions by the Delhi Police in connection with the case. According to sources, Dinakaran was given a questionnaire and an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) questioned him.
The questionnaire included queries about the money trail, his association with Sukesh Chandrashekhar, the middleman alleged to have struck a deal for Rs. 50 crore to help Dinakaran's AIADMK faction keep the 'two leaves' poll symbol, how many times he met Sukesh and whether any meeting with the Election Commission officials took place, or not, etc.
On Thursday, a team of the Delhi Police Crime Branch reached Chennai and served a notice on Dinakaran and asked him to join the probe. The Delhi Police had issued a lookout notice against Dinakaran on Tuesday.
The police had arrested and sent Sukesh to custody for allegedly striking a deal of Rs. 50 crore to help the Dinakaran faction keep the 'two leaves' poll symbol.
The Crime Branch recovered approximately Rs. 1.3 crore and two luxury cars, a BMW and a Mercedes, from Chandrashekhar.
Chandrasekhar was picked up from the Hyatt hotel and was produced at the residence of Special Judge Poonam Chaudhry, who allowed the Delhi Police's plea to interrogate the accused of eight days. Dinakaran was also named as an accused in the FIR, filed by the Delhi Police Crime Branch.
Dinakaran's faction contested on the hat symbol for the R.K. Nagar assembly by-polls after the Election Commission froze their two leaves symbol while acknowledging the split in the party. The polling was later canceled by the Election Commission.