In a major development, Sasikala brought a close relative back into AIADMK. Why it made headlines was because he was expelled from the party by ex-chief minister J Jayalalithaa five years ago. 

TTV Dinakaran, a 53-year-old ex-MP, will be holding a key post- that of party’s deputy general secretary, one that is second in the party’s hierarchy to Sasikala, and will possibly mean he will control party affairs while she serves time in jail.

Sasikala made the move after the Supreme Court upheld her conviction in the Rs 66 crore disproportionate assets case. Along with Dinakaran, she has also brought back another expelled leader, S Venkatesh, into the party.

b’TTV Dinakaran’

The two leaders have been brought back into the party after they tendered an “apology” to Sasikala in person and through letters. 

In 2011, Jayalalithaa had expelled 12 members linked to Sasikala, including Dinakaran, Venkatesh, and Sasikala’s husband M Natarajan amidst reports then that they were interfering in party and government administration. However, she brought back Sasikala, and none of the others, after she expressed regret and said she would have no links with the other family members.

Now that he’s back and in charge of the party during Sasikala’s absence, here’s what you need to know about Dinakaran:

  • Dinakaran is part of the ‘TTV trio’, that includes himself and his brothers Bhaskaran and Sudhakaran. They are sons of Sasikala’s sister, Vanithamani. 
  • It was Dinakaran’s younger brother Sudhakaran, who was famously adopted and later disowned by Jayalalithaa, and whose lavish wedding in 1995 sparked a major controversy in Tamil Nadu in 1996.
b’An old photo of the controversial wedding in 1995′
  • Between 1991 and 1995, while Jayalalithaa was chief minister of Tamil Nadu, Dinakaran is said to have amassed unexplained deposits of money into his bank accounts and came under the scanner of Enforcement Directorate, which initiated proceedings against him under Foreign Exchange Regulation Act. The ED charged him with stashing as much as Rs 300 crore abroad.
  • At the time, Dinakaran had claimed that he was a citizen of Singapore and thus out of the purview of the central agency. The case went on for 20 years and it was only last month that the Madras High Court delivered its verdict. It held Dinakaranm guilty of money laundering and benami transactions. It upheld the ED tribunal’s order asking Dinakaran to pay a penalty of Rs 25 crore.
b’An old photo of Dinakaran / Rajya Sabha website’
  • As per reports, Dinakaran first came into prominence in 1988 as one of Jayalalitha’s constant aides, just months after MGR’s died. Surviving the row over his cousin’s wedding and Amma’s dislike of M Natarajan, Dinakaran continued to be in Jayalalithaa’s good books and went on to be elected to the Rajya Sabha.
  • Apart from money laundering, Dinakaran has faced allegations of fraud as well. In 1992, he made news after his company Emerald Constructions was charged with illegally acquiring prime government land in Chennai. 

Just before his appointment to the important party post, Dinakaran made headlines for his increasing clout with Sasikala. He was seen accompanying Sasikala when she went to meet the Governor at Raj Bhavan on February 9. Dinakaran was staying at Poes Garden with his aunt, until she went to the Bengaluru jail to surrender on Wednesday.