File photo of AIADMK General Secretary V K Sasikala. (Image: PTI)
New Delhi: The AIADMK is now firmly in the grip of VK Sasikala and her family, the so-called ‘Mannargudi Mafia’.
Sasikala who is going to jail on Wednesday is the general secretary.
She named her sister’s son TTV Dinakaran as deputy general secretary.
Dinakaran has two brothers, Bhaskaran and Sudhakaran. They are from Theni district. Sudhakaran is Jayalalithaa’s foster son, but she disowned him publicly. Bhaskaran served as the managing director of JJ TV, which folded up before the launch of Jaya TV, the AIADMK's official channel.
After Jayalalithaa’s death, Dinakaran shifted to Poes Garden, along with his aunt Sasikala. Dinakaran was seen standing behind Sasikala when Jayalalithaa’s body was put on display.
On February 9, he accompanied Sasikala when she went to meet the governor.
Dinakaran was close to Jayalalithaa and she sent him to the Rajya Sabha. Dinakaran started hanging around Jayalalithaa in 1988. But he fell out with Jayalalithaa in 1990 because he was close to Sasikala’s estranged husband M. Natarajan whom she disliked.
Despite this, however, he was given ticket in the 1999 parliamentary elections which he won.
In 2011, Jayalalithaa kicked him along with many other relatives out of Poes Garden after falling out with Sasikala. But Sasikala and Dinakaran came back in 2012.
Dinakaran is said to have interfered a lot in the state’s administration while Jayalalithaa was alive.
There were allegations that Dinakaran and Sasikala were responsible for distancing Jayalalithaa from three officers – Sheela Balakrishnan along with secretaries to the CM A Ramalingam and KN Venkataramanan
Dinakaran is facing a Foreign Exchange Regulations Act (FERA) violation case with Enforcement Directorate (ED) probing unexplained deposits of big chunks of money into his accounts between during 1991 to 95. Jayalalithaa was CM at that time. Dinakaran tried to wriggle out from the ED probe saying he was a Singapore citizen. But the ED did not buy this and found him guilty of money laundering.
The Madras High Court on January 6, 2017, confirmed the penalty of Rs 25 crore imposed on Dinakaran by ED in the 1996 case.
On February 2, 2017, the Madurai Bench of Madras HC set aside the orders of the lower court discharging Sasikala from a FERA violation case. Allowing a petition from the Enforcement Directorate, Justice G Chockalingam also set aside the orders of the lower court discharging Dinakaran from two FERA violation cases.
Sasikala and Dinakaran have now to face trial in all these cases. According to ED, a national bank in Chennai had given a loan of Rs 3 crore to a company based on the security of a deposit by an NRI, and Sasikala had allegedly drawn Rs 2.20 core out of it and bought part of her holdings in Korana Tea Estate in 1995.