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Dhinakaran used ‘hawala formula’ to win RK Nagar bypoll, says CM Palaniswami

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami today hit out at sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran for calling him a “betrayer” and alleged that the latter had used the “hawala formula” to win the RK Nagar bypoll recently.”He (Dhinakaran) had adopted the hawala formula to win the election, which was more effective than the Thirumangalam formula,” he said at the MGR centenary celebrations here.The chief minister was referring to the DMK’s victory in the Thirumangalam bypoll a few years ago, where it was alleged that the opposition party had won by distributing money.Also readPost oath, TTV Dhinakaran rails against AIADMK”You can imagine what type of a criminal person adopts the hawala formula,” he said.Lashing out at Dhinakaran for calling those in power in the state betrayers, Palaniswami said the people would decide who the betrayers were and teach them an appropriate lesson at an opportune time.Also read10 TTV Dhinakaran loyalists sacked after RK Nagar resultsReferring to Dhinakaran’s bypoll victory, he said the sidelined AIADMK leader was aiming to capture power in the party through the backdoor, without doing anything for it.He also alleged that the RK Nagar victory was the result of a conspiracy hatched by Dhinakaran and DMK working president M K Stalin.Also readRK Nagar bypoll: Dhinakaran rises against all odds to stump rivals Countering Dhinakaran’s remarks on the longevity of the government, Palaniswami said, “He will not remain in his present position for long and nobody knows where Dhinakaran, who is saying the government will not last till March, will be at that time.”Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam also hit out at Dhinakaran for criticising the AIADMK leadership.

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Sibling rivalry: MK Alagir blames MK Stalin for the RK Nagar defeat

After the DMK’s humiliating loss in the RK Nagar Assembly seat bypoll, party chief M Karunanidhi’s elder son and former union minister MK Alagir blamed his younger sibling MK Stalin’s for the loss saying that he did not do enough field work.Alagiri who was expelled from the party in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls in 2014 for anti-party activities said leave alone the RK Nagar bypoll, the party would not win any election as long as Stalin leads the party. His comments have come ahead of the party’s high-level executive committee meeting to be held here on Friday.Rejecting the Stalin’s statement blaming money power for the election defeat, Alagiri, in an interview to a Tamil magazine, said, “There is a strong resentment against both the ruling party and the main opposition party in RK Nagar. Otherwise, how come an independent candidate Dhinakaran, placed 33rd on the ballot box list, got a resounding victory?””See, you should get down to the ground and do fieldwork. Merely going around in a jeep cannot fetch you votes,” Alagiri said, recalling how his dad Karunanidhi used to call him several times in a day to keep a tab of bypoll campaigning works when he used to oversee such elections.Alagiri, the Madurai-based strongman, had helped the DMK win successive by-elections in 2006-11 when his party was in power in the state. He was then accused by opposition parties of masterminding money distribution to voters in the Thirumangalam Assembly bypoll which was infamously called as “Thirumangalam formula”.The ruling AIADMK latched onto Alagiri’s comments to take potshots at Stalin. “Alagiri has said DMK cannot win (under Stalin’s leadership)… His (Stalin’s) own brother has said so,” senior AIADMK leader and Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said, without elaborating.After the Alagiri’s expulsion in 2014, Stalin was appointed as party’s working president in January this year.POWER PLAYAlagiri and Stalin had been involved in a long-running feud in the DMK’s first family with both contending to be their father’s political heir. A former Union minister, Alagiri had once famously asked if the DMK was a ‘mutt’ where a senior pontiff could appoint his successor, indicating that he was always in the reckoning.

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Parliament takes on Pak dirty tricks

Political leaders cutting across party lines in Parliament condemned Pakistan’s mistreatment of Kulbhushan Jadhav’s family in Islamabad and demanded efforts to bring back the former Indian Naval officer who has been captured and sentenced to death on charges of espionage and terror. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said she will make a detailed statement on the issue in both Houses on Thursday. Jadhav, 47, was allowed to meet his mother Avanti and wife Chetana Jadhav across a glass screen on Monday. India has maintained he was kidnapped and implicated. India has said Pakistan had the mangal sutras, bangles and bindis of Jadhav’s mother and wife removed, disregarding cultural and religious sensibilities. The Pakistani press also harassed the two women. During Zero Hour in the Lok Sabha, members of Congress, Shiv Sena, TMC and AIADMK protested against Pakistan. Congress leader in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, demanded that Jadhav be brought back. The issue was initially raised by Shiv Sena’s Arvind Sawant who questioned the government silence. TMC leader Saugata Roy described Pakistan as “hypocritical”. AIADMK’s M Thambidurai said that asking a woman to remove her ‘mangal sutra’ is an insult to the country. Shiv Sena members raised slogans against Pakistan in the House.Outside Parliament, Congress leaders Veepara Moily and Salman Khurshid called it a diplomatic failure on the part of the government. “MEA should have ensured a protocol for the family,” Moily told reporters. He said that the issue should have been taken up with Pakistan before Jadhav’s kin went to Islamabad. Khurshid, a former External Affairs Minister, said the meeting between Jadhav and his family was distressing and disturbing. “We expected better from Pakistan, the situation is unfortunately very grave,” he said. Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy reacted sharply on Wednesday and said that India should go to war with Pakistan and split it into four parts. The Rajya Sabha MP said that “serious homework” for the war should begin “right now”. “The treatment given to the mother and the wife is akin to Draupadi’s vastraharan that resulted in Mahabharat,” he said.Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju also slammed the “very irresponsible” Pakistani media over the heckling of Jadhav’s mother and wife. “Pakistan media is very irresponsible, it is not responsible like the Indian media,” Rijiju told reporters outside Parliament, assuring action by the External Affairs Ministry.India has moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, on grounds that procedures were not followed under international law when Jadhav was convicted, a rare contest by the two nuclear-armed rivals at the top UN legal body whose rulings are binding, but occasionally flouted. In May, the world court put the sentence on hold till the case is conclusively heard.

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After RK Nagar debacle, AIADMK sacks Dhinakaran loyalists

The ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu on Monday sacked six office-bearers supporting sidelined party leader TTV Dhinakaran, a day after he won the RK Nagar bypoll here with a thumping margin of 40,000 votes. The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by top party office-bearers O Panneerselvam and K Palaniswami, AIADMK sources said. Along with that, it decided to remove four Dhinakaran aides as party’s districtsecretaries.Five senior functionaries have also been removed from AIADMK. The party decided to remove, among others, key Dhinakaran aides P Vetrivel and Thangatamilselvan, AIADMK district secretary in Chennai and Theni respectively, the sources said. Though AIADMK supporters are divided between Dhinakaran and the Palaniswami-led camps, many office-bearers from the rival group hold party posts.Also readRK Nagar bypoll: 4 big takeaways from TTV Dhinakaran’s stunning win In a jolt to the ruling dispensation, Dhinakaran defeated its candidate E Madhusudhanan by 40,707 votes in the December 21 RK Nagar bypoll. The votes were counted yesterday. The party alleged that TTV Dhinakaran won owing to tacit understanding with DMK. The main opposition party in the state, DMK finished third in the RK Nagar bypoll.

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RK Nagar bypoll: 4 big takeaways from TTV Dhinakaran’s stunning win

TTV Dhinakaran on Sunday won a stunning victory as an independent candidate from former Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa’s RK Nagar constituency. He made a rather audacious prediction after his win claiming that the ruling AIADMK government will not last more than three months. Dhinakaran’s win over AIADMK and DMK candidates have definitely added a new angle to Tamil Nadu politics and has clearly indicated that the churn which started after passing away of J Jayalalithaa is unlikely to stop anytime soon. Here are some of the big pointers from Dhinakaran’s Sunday surprise:Also readRK Nagar bypoll: Dhinakaran rises against all odds to stump rivals 1. Dhinakaran is here to stay:Battling corruption cases and collective might of AIADMK, it was perfectly possible that TTV Dhinakaran’s rebellion would have ended tamely. At the end of the day, Tamil Nadu is famously bi-polar and there is very little space for a third pole. However Dhinakaran by winning the prestigious RK Nagar battle has shown that he isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon. Whether he comes good on his promise to make a political earthquake in Tamil Nadu remains to be seen, but this election result has given him the political oxygen to fight another day. And for voters of RK Nagar, TTV Dhinakaran truly is the torchbearer of Amma’s legacy. Also readTTV Dhinakaran wins RK Nagar bypoll, DMK and BJP candidates lose deposit2. Troubling times for AIADMK: The ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu is in a fragile state, with a very unstable peace deal between the OPS and EPS camp. Now, with the Dhinakaran camp scoring this major win, the fragile unity will be severely tested. It’s clear that large number of voters and foot soldiers have their allegiance towards VK Sasikala’s nephew Dhinakaran. Will the elected legislators also change their affinity sensing the groundswell of support for Dhinakaran. Will there be a beeline to join the list of 18 currently suspended MLAs who have pledged their allegiance to Dhinakaran? Will either of OPS or EPS group try to side with him? And the million dollar question of who the voters will finally perceive as the ‘real’ AIADMK? The jury is out on all these questions, but both O Palaniswami and E Panneerselvam have their task cut out for sure. 3. DMK in disarray: There are conspiracy theories floating around about DMK taking it easy and transferring votes to Dhinakaran, to stir the AIADMK pot. But it’s hard to believe that the party would ensure such engineering where it ends up losing its deposit. It’s embarrassing for the major opposition party in the state and would further make Stalin’s job difficult. DMK is yet to revive from its assembly poll defeat last year, but with Lok Sabha polls barely an year and half away, it doesn’t have too much time to regroup. RK Nagar may have been an one-off, a referendum about Amma’s true legacy which sidelined DMK, but the party would try to avoid such slip-up in the future. The 2G verdict has definitely come as shot in arm for DMK, and it remains to be seen whether it can leverage it politically. 4. BJP continues to be non-existent: BJP, despite its best efforts, continues to be a virtual non-entity in Tamil Nadu. And RK Nagar was no exception, with the party candidate getting even lesser votes than NOTA. The BJP at Centre has given tacit support to AIADMK in the state, but that hasn’t helped in the party’s growth in Tamil Nadu. As Subramanian Swamy said, it is time to fix accountability in Tamil Nadu. BJP and Amit Shah will probably need more than a few visits to fix party’s condition in the southern state.

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RK Nagar bypoll result: Subramanian Swamy calls for accountability after BJP gets lesser votes than NOTA

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Subramanian Swamy on Sunday questioned his party’s accountability after it scored lesser votes than None of the Above (NOTA) in RK Nagar by-polls.Criticising the state BJP leadership for a poor show, Swamy tweeted, “TN BJP record: A national ruling party gets a quarter of NOTA’s vote. Time for accountability”.As the fifth round of counting in RK Nagar by-poll concluded, sidelined AIADMK leader and independent candidate TTV Dhinakaran marked a clear lead overall, with a margin of over 11,000 votes.As per the Election Commission, Dhinakaran is leading with 24,132 total votes, followed by AIADMK’s E Madhusudhanan (13057) and DMK’s N Marudhu Ganesh (6606).BJP’s candidate K Nagarajan is trailing behind with 485 votes, while NOTA has got 798 votes.Key candidates in the fray are E Madhusudhanan from AIADMK, sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran, who is contesting as an independent, N Maruthu Ganesh from DMK and Karu Nagarajan from BJP.The R K Nagar constituency went to polls on December 21, necessitated by the death of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa in December last year.

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RK Nagar bypolls: ‘All party workers with me, I have Amma’s wishes,’ says Dinakaran

Sidelined All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader and independent candidate TTV Dinakaran on Sunday is confident of winning the RK Nagar Assembly bypolls after the sixth round of counting showed him leading with 29255 votes.Dinakaran told ANI, “I am an independent candidate for namesake but all Party (AIADMK) workers are with me. I also have Amma’s wishes.”He said the early trends of counting today indicated to whom the people voted in the election.”RK Nagar was represented by ‘Amma’. The thumping majority which the voters have given is an indication where the party symbol and the party will remain. I thank the people of RK Nagar and party workers who have shown massive support for me,” Dinakaran told the media.”I firmly believe that it is time for this government to go, and in the coming three months you will see this government go,” he added.As per the Election Commission, Dinakaran is followed by AIADMK’s E Madhusudhanan (15181) and DMK’s N Marudhu Ganesh (7986).Dinakaran, who lost the AIADMK symbol to the EPS-OPS faction, chose to contest the election as an independent candidate and was allotted a ‘pressure cooker’ symbol for the same.Key candidates in the fray are Madhusudhanan, Dinakaran, Ganesh and Karu Nagarajan (BJP).The RK Nagar constituency went to polls on December 21, necessitated by the death of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa in December last year.The election is speculated to be a litmus test for the leadership of O Panneerselvam and E K Palaniswami who took over the reins of AIADMK after her.The election was earlier scheduled on April 12 but was cancelled following vote-for-cash scam.

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RK Nagar bypoll: Dinakaran says trends reflect people wanting change

With early trends of counting of votes for RK Nagar bypoll favouring independent candidate TTV Dinakaran, the sidelined leader on Sunday said it showed that people want a change of regime.The sidelined AIADMK leader said, “We are the true AIADMK… people of RK Nagar have elected Amma’s successor.” He also sought to make light of the K Palaniswami camp winning the Two Leaves symbol after both camps staked a claim for it before the Election Commission.”During my recent visits to various parts of Tamil Nadu such as Avinashi (Tirupur) and Arumanai (Kanyakumari), people said the pressure cooker (his poll symbol at RK Nagar) will win. They want a change of this regime,” he said.Dhinakaran’s statement to reporters here came in response to the early leads he had taken against his AIADMK rival E Madhusudhanan and DMK’s N Maruthu Ganesh.Claiming victory, he said “this is the best gift for the 1.5 crore party supporters” on the 30th death anniversary of party founder, the late Chief Minister MG Ramachandran, fondly addressed as MGR.On the symbol issue, with the Election Commission awarding it recently to the Palaniswamy-led camp, Dhinakaran said only a candidate determines the symbol.”We are the true AIADMK. A candidate determines the symbol. I have already said the ‘Two Leaves’ will be a success symbol only if it was with Puratchi Thalaivar (MGR) and Amma (Jayalalithaa). Will the people vote if it is handed over to MN Nambiar and PS Veerappa,” he asked, amidst chuckles from his supporters.Nambiar and Veerappa are famous yesteryear villains, with the former being cast against MGR in many of the matinee idol’s films.Dhinakaran said the Palaniswami government will “end in three months.”Meanwhile, jubilant supporters of Dhinakaran celebrated by distributing sweets and bursting crackers, while exuding confidence that their leader would triumph with a thumping margin.

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2G scam verdict: A Raja writes to Karunanidhi; says he places verdict at DMK chief’s feet

Former telecom minister and DMK leader A Raja on Friday wrote an emotional letter to party chief M Karunanidhi, a day after a special CBI court acquitted him in the 2G scam citing lack of evidence.”I place the 2G verdict on your feet with gratitude. I’m waiting to hear your words,” Raja said in the letter. He also alleged that the spectrum attack has tainted the DMK’s ideological movement and questioned, “Who will punish those who tainted your 80 year public life?”According to a WION report, Raja further said that as a minister in the UPA government, which was in power at the Centre when the spectrum scam happened, he gave 59 crore mobile connections against the 60 crore target set before 2012. “A shame that even UPA govt couldn’t realise it was trapped in the plot to bring it down,” Raja said in his letter.Also read2G spectrum case verdict helps boost morale of resurgent DMK in Tamil NaduThe spectrum cartel was broken to pave way for the WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter revolution, he alleged.Special court judge OP Saini, while pronouncing the verdict on Thursday, acquitted all the 17 accused including A Raja and Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi. The judge noted that the prosecution has “miserably failed to prove any charge.”Also read2G scam verdict: DMK and allies welcome verdict, AIADMK favours appeal in caseShortly after the verdict was announced, Raja said that his faith in the nations’ justice was validated.”My firm belief in the rightfulness of my actions as well as my faith in our nation’s justice system has been validated today,” he said.He said he had felt vindicated all along the case and added that results of his actions had benefitted the people.Raja also said that the matter was all cooked up. He claimed that the judge acquitted him because the prosecution case was false.Raja, surrounded by family, had wept in court after the verdict.

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RK Nagar by-poll: Voting in late Jayalalithaa’s constituency ends peacefully with 77% turnout

The R K Nagar bypoll today witnessed a record 77.68 per cent voter turnout with polling to the constituency, which was represented by the late J. Jayalalithaa, passing off peacfully amid tight security.Election officials here said there may be some variation in the figure after taking into consideration the polling percentage at some booths where voting went on beyond 5 pm.The voter turnout is higher than the 68 per cent recorded in the 2016 assembly election,according to officials.The bypoll is being seen as an acid test for the chief minister K Palaniswami and deputy O Panneeerselvam-led ruling AIADMK which is facing a strong challenge from sidelined leader T T V Dhinakaran and an aggressive DMK.The DMK is putting up a tough fight to wrest the seat after a hiatus of over two decades.Of the 59 candidates in the fray, the fight is essentially triangular with the key contenders being ruling AIADMK’s E Madhusudhanan, main opposition DMK candidate N Maruthu Ganesh and Dhinakaran, contesting as an independent.The ruling AIADMK got back its Two Leaves election symbol back following merger of factions led by Palaniswami and former rebel O Panneerselvam.The run up to the bypoll saw political parties and candidates holding as many as 152 public meetings and taking out 605 processions with the campaigning ending on December 19.The 2015 R K Nagar bypoll in which Jayalalithaa was elected by a huge margin of 1.5 lakh votes for the first time in this segment had witnessed a record 75 per cent turnout.Voting at 258 polling stations passed off peacefully with 2500 state police personnel, 15 companies of Central Armed Police Forces and 1638 election officers manning the poll process.Serpentine queues were witnessed in booth after booth, right from 8 am when voting began with women outnumbering men in several of them.A large number of people were awaiting their turn to vote even at the scheduled close of voting at 5 pm.All those who were present inside the polling stations ahead of the 5 pm deadline were given tokens by officials to ensure that they exercised their franchise.There were, however, sporadic complaints of snag in EVMs, and consequential delay.Some voters complained that their names were deleted, othes claimed their names were struck off the rolls wrongly categorising them as “dead.”Gun-toting Central Armed Police Force personnel in their trademark green uniforms were stationed at all the polling stations and across the 45 checkposts in and around the Dr Radhakrishnan (RK) Nagar constituency.Senior poll officials including the district election Officer D Karthikeyan inspected the polling stations.Several dozens of flying squad teams, static surveillance teams and video surveillance teams were deployed in the constituency.Election authorities made elaborate arrangements to ensure both hassle free environs for voters and measures for free and fair polling with nine observers, 307 micro-observers and 258 web cameras to monitor the poll process.Chennai Corporation personnel drafted for poll duty took differently abled persons inside the polling stations using wheel-chairs.In booths that had a significantly high number of voters, a medical team comprising doctors, and paramedics were stationed.’Pandals’ were put up, and help desks helped people find the right booth to vote. Amenities like drinking water, and toilets were also in place.R K Nagar, represented twice by Jayalalithaa, has an electorate of 2,28,234, comprising 1,10,903 men, 1,17,232 women and 99 transgenders.Election officials said 79.21 per cent of women voters exercised their franchise while 75.92 per cent of men cast their votes.Counting of votes will be taken up on December 24 and the results are expected to be out by afternoon that day.

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2G scam verdict: My name was dragged as part of election game, alleges Kanimozhi

DMK leader Kanimozhi after hearing the verdict said that she was glad and relieved. “I have always believed that I would see the light at the end of the tunnel. The past six years have been harrowing to say the least. To be falsely accused in a case for a notional loss of Rs 176 lakh crore to appease the opposition that was stalling Parliament is atrocious,” she said targeting the BJP and the AIADMK, who were the opposition parties at the Centre and the state respectively at the time.Kanimuzhi added that the sole aim of the opposition (AIADMK) was to malign her name, as elections were five months away. “I was dragged in so that the DMK is defeated in the election that is hardly five months away. I was charge sheeted with the sole aim to tag my name with a mind-boggling amount to ensure that Kalingar’s rule will not continue,” she alleged.The statement issued by Kanimozhi that was circulate on social mediaAlso read2G verdict: Allegations were never true says Chidambaram; government should file appeal tweets SubramanianEarlier in the day,a special CBI court on Thursday acquitted, who was the telecom minister in the first UPA government, along with DMK leader Kanimozhi and 17 others in the 2G spectrum allocation scam.The special court judge OP Saini pronounced his verdict as ‘not guilty’ for all accused due to lack of evidence.Also read2G spectrum verdict: All you must know about the caseThe case relates to alleged below-market-price sale of lucrative telecoms permits bundled with airwaves in 2008, which a federal auditor said may have cost the government as much as Rs 1.76 lakh crore in lost revenue. The scam came to light following a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India during the second term of the UPA government headed by Manmohan Singh.DMK working president MK Stalin has issued a statement after the 2G verdict. “The CBI court has given a historical verdict. The 2G case was filed in 2009. In the political history, the 2G case was foisted to defame and destroy DMK. It is a false case made up of goofed up figures. In such a case, the special court has acquitted all of them. We are very happy over the order. The court order proved that the DMK has not done anything wrong. I request the media to show the same enthusiasm of how it sensationalized the 2G scam when the case was filed. In the same way, you should take this news of acquittal to all the people,” he said. DMK’s RS Bharathi also hailed the CBI court’s verdict, saying that the case to begin with was a false case. “For the past 2 assembly elections, the case was used against us, now it has been proved to be wrong,” he added.

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Can’t air: EC on Jaya video on bypoll eve

On the eve of Chennai’s RK Nagar bypoll, a purported video clip of late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on a hospital bed sipping a drink was released on Wednesday by a supporter of sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dinakaran. The 20-second video was allegedly shot by her aide and confidant VK Sasikala.The Election Commission ordered TV channels to take the video off-air terming it a violation of the model code of conduct. The city police registered a case under IPC Section 188 (disobedience of a public servant’s order) and Section 126 (b) of the Representation of People’s Act on a complaint filed by the returning officer of RK Nagar Assembly seat.In the cancelled bypoll in April, the then rebel AIADMK led by Panneerselvam used a dummy coffin with Jayalalithaa’s figurine mounted on the bonnet seeking justice for her death.Senior AIADMK leader and Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar hit out at the release of the video saying that it was a conspiracy and a demeaning act with an eye on Thursday’s bypoll.

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Chennai: A day before RK Nagar bypolls, video of Jayalalithaa in hospital triggers row

Setting off a political controversy a day ahead of RK Nagar bypoll, a video purportedly showing late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in a hospital was released by sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran’s loyalist today.Amid questions raised about timing of the about 20 second video, aired by TV channels and later went viral on the social media,election officials asked channels to stop it’s telecast, saying it was a violation of the model code of conduct.The footage, showing a frail looking AIADMK supremo in a nightdress and sipping what appeared to be a health drink with a straw, was released by Vetrivel, disqualified AIADMK MLA and election agent of Dhinakaran, contesting the bypoll as an independent.A police complaint was lodged by Returning Officer of RK Nagar assembly constituency against Vetrivel, who said he released it in view of doubts raised over the circumstances leading to Jayalalithaa’s hospitalisation and death.AIADMK hit out at Sasikala’s family, saying the video release was a “conspiracy” and a “demeaning” act with an eye on tomorrow’s bypoll, considered an acid test for the ruling dispensation,being the first poll after Jayalalithaa’s demise.Suspicions have been raised over circumstances leading to Jayalalithaa’s demise by several persons, including now deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam and his followers.The state government has appointed a retired Madras High Court judge as the one-man commission of inquiry to look into the circumstances leading to her death.DMK, which raised the issue of doubts over Jayalalithaa’s death during the campaign, and several others alleged that the video had been released with an eye on the bypoll.Defending the release of the video, Vetrivel said he did it on his own “out of mental agony. Later Dhinakaran called me and asked me why I did so,” he told PTI.Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer Rajesh Lakhoni told reporters that TV channels were asked to immediately stop airing the clip, which they duly complied with.He said telecast or display of any election-related material 48 hours before conclusion of the poll was barred under election laws.Returning Officer Praveen Nair, in his complaint said the video release violated the model code and the Representation of the People’s Act.”Neither the candidate nor his election agent obtained any permission from the Media Certification Monitoring Committee, which is also a violation of the Code,” he said.The high stakes bypoll is being held to fill the vacancy caused by the death of sitting MLA Jayalalithaa on December 5 last year.She was admitted to Apollo Hospital here on September 22 last year after she complained of fever and dehydration. She died of cardiac arrest after 75 days in the hospital.There was no response from Apollo Hospital to a query on the veracity of the video, which showed Jayalalithaa sipping the drink with a straw from a use-and-throw glass topped with a lid. On her bedside was the portrait of a deity.Ruling AIADMK, which has sidelined the Sasikala family, said the video release amounted to bringing “disrepute” to the late Chief Minister’s fame and image.”This demeaning (act) is a planned conspiracy by the Sasikala family to bring disrepute to Amma’s fame and image, done keeping in mind the (RK Nagar) bypoll,” said senior AIADMK leader and Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar.AIADMK supporters and the people would not accept this, he told reporters here.He also asked why they did not approach the inquiry commission probing the death of the AIADMK supremo.DMK working president M K Stalin said the footage was released with an ‘ulterior motive.’In a Facebook post, he said the clip was released at a time when RK Nagar people were set to vote.”To tackle their party (AIADMK) problem and to divert people, the video has been released with an ulterior motive.. They have come forward to make Jayalalithaa a scapegoat even after her death…As usual,” he charged.Stating that the video would also raise doubts among the public as to how Jayalalithaa died after recuperating so well, he said Chief Minister K Palaniswami and Panneerselvam should answer such suspicions.Sasikala’s niece Krishnapriya claimed the video was taken by her aunt at the request of Jayalalithaa herself and it had been released without her (aunt’s) nod.Terming it as a “big mistake” and “betrayal of trust” on the part of Vetrivel, she said action should have been taken by now by Dhinakaran against him.Krishnapriya is the daughter of Ilavarasi, wife of the brother of Sasikala, who is also serving the prison term along with Sasikala in the disproportionates assets case.”Chinnamma did not release the video to defend her even when she faced many charges.We gave the video to Dhinakaran.It was Sasikala who asked us to give it to him for submission to the inquiry commission if needed and not for public display,” she said and wondered “why and how” it reached Vetrivel.On the date on which the video was shot, she said it was taken a “month or two” after Jayalalithaa was hospitalised.”First she was in ICU and later she was brought to a room and the video was shot at that time,” she claimed.

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RK Nagar bypoll: Campaigning ends today for Jayalalithaa’s vacant seat, polling on December 21

Campaigning for the high-stakes December 21 bypoll to RK Nagar constituency which fell vacant after the death of J Jayalalithaa, came to an end on Tuesday, with the election being seen as a litmus test for the AIADMK-led Tamil Nadu government.AIADMK coordinator O Panneerselvam and co-coordinator K Palaniswami, DMK working president M K Stalin and sidelined AIADMK leader T T V Dhinakaran had hit a blazing campaign trail to ensure victory for their respective candidates.It is the first election to be held in the ‘post Jayalalithaa era’, and necessitated following her death last December.The bypolls will be seen as a report card of the 17-month-old AIADMK government, which itself underwent a tumultuous phase dominated by a rebellion and patch-up involving O Panneerselvam.Chief Minister K Palaniswami and deputy Chief Minister O Pannerselvam urged voters to elect Madhusudhnanan to take forward the work initiated by Jayalalithaa.In a joint statement, the leaders recalled that the late leader served people with a “motherly” attitude and that she had many plans for the constituency as its MLA.People of RK Nagar were aware of her developmental work for the constituency, which was being taken forward by the ruling AIADMK, they said, while pointing out that this was the first hustings faced by AIADMK in her absence.”Madhusudhanan will aid the government in implementing every other welfare measure with the blessings of Amma”, they added.Jayalalithaa is addressed as Amma, meaning mother in Tamil, by her supporters.Stalin, on his part, vowed to unravel the ‘mystery’ behind the late AIADMK supremo’s demise and assured to put behind bars those ‘found responsible’ for her death in the event of DMK coming to power.During one of his stopovers during the campaign on Tuesday, he said there was a “mystery on how Jayalalithaa passed away and what kind of (medical) treatment was provided” to her during her 75-day hospitalisation, as he dismissed as an ‘eyewash’ the inquiry ordered by the state government into her death.”The first job of the DMK rule will be to find out who is responsible for Jayalalithaa’s death and lock them up in prison,” Stalin, Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly, said.The campaign saw old rivals Stalin and MDMK founder Vaiko share the stage for the first time in many years. The opposition is putting up a united show in a bid to snatch victory in this city segment.There were also allegations of money distribution, with DMK levelling charges against the ruling AIADMK.Many opposition parties, including the Congress, the VCK and the Left have backed DMK candidate N Maruthu Ganesh.Dhinakaran, who fell out of favour with Palaniswami and also lost the battle for the party’s ‘Two Leaves’ symbol to the latter, is fighting as an independent and has expressed confidence that he can spring a surprise against the AIADMK’s E Madhusudhanan, as well as the DMK.With 59 candidates in the fray, the bypoll is virtually confined to old warhorse Madhusudhanan, DMK’s greenhorn Maruthu Ganesh and Dhinakaran.Polling will be held on December 21 while the votes will be taken up for counting on December 24.Meanwhile, with campaigning coming to an end, the Election Commission has now barred all other related activities as is the rule.Liquor shops in the constituency will remain closed from 5 pm today till 5 PM on the polling day, as well as on December 24.

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RK Nagar By-poll: AIADMK distributrd Rs 100 crore among voters, alleges DMK’s Stalin; seeks ‘appropriate action’

DMK working president MK Stalin has alleged that the ruling AIADMK distributed over Rs 100 crore to voters ahead of the by-election in Chennai’s RK Nagar. In a letter to the Election Commission, Stalin claimed that the AIADMK paid Rs 6,000 to each voter.Stalin has asked the polls body to take appropriate action against AIADMK candidate E Madhusudhanan.”Take appropriate and necessary action against AIADMK and the erring officials and to ensure free and fair election RK Nagar Assembly Constituency,” he said in the letter.The RK Nagar Assembly constituency, which was represented by former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, goes to the bypoll on December 21. DMK is going all out to wrest the seat from its arch rival after over two decades. AIADMK is also leaving no stone unturned to retain the seat. Also read RK Nagar by-poll: Madras HC dismisses plea to disqualify AIADMK and DMK candidates Chief Minister Palaniswami, his deputy O Panneerselvam and ministers are criss crossing congested lanes and by lanes of RK Nagar in Chennai. At the same time, AIADMK sidelined group, led by T T V Dhinakaran, is trying hard to prove to his rivals in mainstream AIADMK that he is the heir to Jayalalithaa’s welfare legacy. Also readRK Nagar Bypoll: 59 candidates in the fray for Jaya’s vacated seatDhinakaran, nephew of jailed leader V K Sasikala and contesting as an independent, is campaigning with vigour. Madusudanan, ruling AIADMK candidate, is also banking on his popularity in North Chennai, besides his party’s strength. Also readRejected, accepted, rejected: Drama unfolds over Vishal’s election nomination papers for RK Nagar bypollDMK nominee Marudu Ganesh, also a local up and coming party functionary, has accused the ruling regime of graft and assures he will address people’s issues, all of which have been left “unaddressed” by the ruling party. Jayalalithaa won the seat by a huge margin of 1.5 lakh votes in the 2015 bypoll. She retained it by a reduced margin of about 40,000 votes last year. From 1991 till the last year’s Assembly election, DMK has won the seat only once in 1996. In 2015, P Vetrivel (AIADMK) vacated the seat to pave the way for Jayalalithaa to contest after she was acquitted by the Karnataka High Court in disproportionate assets case. (With PTI inputs)

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RK Nagar by-poll: Madras HC dismisses plea to disqualify AIADMK and DMK candidates

The Madras High Court today dismissed as not maintainable a plea for disqualifying candidates of AIADMK and DMK and Independent TTV Dhinakaran in the RK Nagar Assembly by-poll for their alleged electoral malpractices during the earlier cancelled by-election.A bench comprising justices TS Sivagnanam and K Ravichandrabaabu dismissed the plea by BSP candidate for the by-poll AC Sathyamurthy. He sought disqualification of the three candidates on the grounds of their alleged involvement in electoral malpractices during the April by-election, which was cancelled by the Election Commission. During the previous election, various articles, including sarees meant for distribution among voters, valued at over Rs 1.59 crore were seized by EC officials, he submitted.Over 40 cases were registered and 82 persons involved in such malpractices were arrested, the petitioner said. Besides this, various incriminating materials were seized in the raids conducted by the Income Tax department at the residence of health minister C Vijayabaskar and Samathuva Makkal Katchi founder R Sarathkumar, he claimed. Based on the complaint made by Income Tax department, the EC had on April 9 cancelled the by-election.The petitioner claimed that Madhusudhanan, Ganesh and Dhinakaran were also allegedly involved in such offences and wanted the EC to prohibit them from contesting the by-election scheduled on December 21. PTI CORR SSs

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Mining baron’s diary reveals pay-outs to AIADMK mins

In the run-up to the crucial RK Nagar Assembly seat by-poll, the ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu find itself in a spot, with several of its cabinet ministers names found on the secret diary recovered from mining baron J Sekhar Reddy, who kept account of the pay-outs.The diary was recovered from Reddy’s premises during the Income-Tax raids in December last year and reveals monthly pay-outs to several state ministers, AIADMK functionaries and politicians of fringe outfits between April and November last year. The diary was seized along with Rs 133 crore cash, including Rs 33.6 crore in new currency notes and over 100 kg of gold.However, Reddy has claimed that the records in the diary were not maintained by him as he did not keep a diary. “It is not my handwriting too. I don’t know whose diary is this. Why are they doing it?” he said.Meanwhile, a senior I-T official said that they had written to the state government with the information found in the diary and recommending an inquiry by the state vigilance agency. “We don’t know what action was taken on our letter. It is the state’s prerogative to order an inquiry or not,” the official noted.Interestingly, the name of current deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam and then PWD minister, was mentioned the most number of times in the five pages. Panneerselvam abruptly cancelled his election campaign after he was repeatedly confronted about the development. “I don’t know. I can’t comment on the issue about which I didn’t know,” Panneerselvam said. Other names in the diary include environment minister Dindigul Seenivasan, electricity minister P Thangamani, health minister C Vijayabaskar and transport minister M Vijayabaskar.DMK working president MK Stalin has sought a CBI probe and demanded the resignation of all ministers whose name were mentioned. “The entire cabinet should resign immediately. If a proper probe is not instituted, PMK would petition Governor and file a petition in the Madras High Court in this regard,” said PMK founder Dr S. Ramadoss.

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RK Nagar Bypoll: 59 candidates in the fray for Jaya’s vacated seat

A fierce contest is on the cards for the December 21 RK Nagar bypoll with 59 candidates, including those of ruling AIADMK, DMK and BJP besides sidelined leader TTV Dhinakaran, left in the fray at close of withdrawal of nominations today.According to the final list posted on the website of the Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer, a total of 72 nominations were accepted and out of it 13 nominees withdrew, leaving 59 candidates, including a woman, in the contest.Election authorities notifying free symbols for independents announced ‘pressure cooker’ symbol for Dhinakaran.Also readA year after Jayalalithaa’s death, AIADMK suffers without a strong leaderThe seat has fallen vacant due to the death of sitting member and then chief minister Jayalalithaa on December 5 last year.Out of the total 145 nomination papers received, as many as 73, including those of Jayalalithaa’s niece Deepa Jayakumar and actor Vishal Krishna’s had been rejected.Also readBypoll in Jayalalithaa’s RK Nagar constituency on Dec 21, to test popularity of EPS govtThe first election to be held after the demise of the the AIADMK supremo, the bypoll is seen as a litmus test for the ruling party which is facing a barrage of opposition accusations including alleged corruption.The key contestants in the bypoll are ruling party’s E Madusudanan, an old party warhorse and a former Minister, and DMK’s up and coming leader N Marudhu Ganesh.Also readHope justice prevails: Actor Vishal to PM Modi after EC rejects nomination for RK Nagar bypollRival AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran, touted as a formidable leader and having the following of party cadres by his camp, is fighting the bypoll as an independent.BJP’s Karu Nagararjan, a state-level functionary known for taking up the cudgels on behalf of his party in TV debates, is also seeking to test his fortunes.On the symbol for Dhinakaran, who has sought ‘hat’, Returning Officer K Velusamy told PTI earlier that “free symbol is being allotted.”Dhinkaran had unsuccessfully moved the Delhi High Court seeking allotment of the ‘hat’ symbol, which was given to him in the rescinded April 12 bypoll to the constituency as the then candidate of V K Sasikala led faction.Freezing the AIADMK’s “two leaves” symbol after then rebel leader and now deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam staked claim to it, the Election Commission had then alloted free symbols to the two groups.However, after the merger of factions led by chief minister K Palaniswami, which dumped Sasikala-Dhinakaran later, and Panneerselvam in August this year, the Election Commission alloted the ‘two leaves’ to them.Counting of votes will be held on December 24 and the result is expected in a matter of few hours on that day.R K Nagar has an electorate of 2,28,234 comprising 1,10,903 men, 1,17,232 women and 99 transgenders.Jayalalithaa was elected from the constituency in May 2016 general election to the state assembly.She had earlier also got elected from there in a bypoll.
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RK Nagay By-poll: DMK likely to win by-elections says senior DMK leader Durai Murugan

Senior DMK leader Durai Murugan on Sunday said the chances of his party’s victory in the December 21 bypoll to the RK Nagar assembly segment, were bright.He was speaking to reporters at the airport in Coimbatore.On MDMK’s decision to extend support to DMK in the by-election, the Deputy Leader of Opposition in Tamil Nadu Assembly said, the party will welcome anybody’s support.He wanted to know whether the state government was taking any steps to provide relief in the cyclone-hit Kanyakumari district.The DMK strong man alleged that the state government was busy erecting banners and cut outs and had no time to for relief measures.Also readAIADMK fields its presidium chairman E Madhusudhanan for RK Nagar bypollIn RK Nagar assembly constituency, DMK’s N Marudu Ganesh is pitted against E Madusudanan of the ruling mainstream AIADMK.Rival AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran is also in the fray.Also readRK Nagar Bypoll: AIADMK Parliamentary board to decide candidateDMK’s allies Congress and IUML have already extended their support to the main opposition party.Besides, parties including the CPI, CPI(M) and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi have declared their support to DMK.
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Techie death: Madras HC orders removal of hoardings

The Madras high court on Thursday ordered the removal of all hoardings and cut-outs kept by the ruling AIADMK for the December 3 MGR centenary celebration in Coimbatore, days after a techie died after hitting a roadside hoarding.Hearing a public interest litigation filed by DMK’s Singanallur MLA N Karthik alleging that techie K Raghunath’s death was a result of his crashing into the illegal hoarding, the first bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar, said that even though they don’t want to go into the factual aspects of the accident, the death could have indeed been caused as a result of the hoarding. The court wondered why the cost of damage caused to the roads be recovered from those who erected the cut-outs, hoardings and banners and asked the officials how they had permitted erection of such hoardings on roads.Raghunath, a techie, was back home in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore from the US to meet his prospective bride. He died on Saturday morning after he reportedly crashed his bike into the illegal wooden hoarding. As Ragupathy’s bike hit the structure and he fell from his bike, a truck ran him over. He was supposed to return to the US over the weekend and was not wearing a helmet at the time of the incident. The tragic accident hit headlines after some painted a graffiti “Who killed Ragu?” at the spot.However, the Coimbatore police said that Raghunath died because a truck ran over him and claimed to be in possession of a CCTV footage to prove the same. The police have arrested truck driver Mohan in connection with the accident.
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‘Who killed Ragu’? Police deny NRI techie died owing to ‘illegal’ AIADMK hoarding

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The death of a 30-year-old motorist in an accident in Tamil Nadu has snowballed into a major social media outrage, which has put the ruling AIADMK on the backfoot. Software engineer Ragupathy died on last Saturday when his motorcycle crashed into a temporary wooden arch set up on a road in Coimbatore by the ruling AIADMK for its MGR centenary celebrations.As Ragupathy hit the structure and fell off his bike, a truck ran him over. The young engineer working in the US had come home to Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore to meet a prospective bride and he was set to return over the weekend. The techie was planning to visit a temple in Palani after parking his bike at a bus stand, when the accident happened. With someone painting ‘Who killed Ragu?’ on the spot of the accident and even marking the ‘hole’ drilled on the road with the paint for erecting arch with the wooden logs, it went viral on the social media with people questioning the AIADMK government’s publicity blitz risking the lives of the motorists.With public anger palpable, the Coimbatore police claimed that the engineer was ran over by a lorry which was coming in the wrong direction. The police has arrested the driver and seized a tipper lorry involved in the incident. The police also claims to be in possession of CCTV footage which proves wrong the theory of the techie dying of injuries after hitting the wooden arch.Meanwhile, police on Tuesday detained two friends of Ragupathy on suspicion overwriting on the road “who killed Ragu?” However, no cases were filed and both of them were let out after being questioned, a police officer. Activists and political parties blamed the illegal arch which narrowed road space for the tragic accident. The civic body officials removed the arch immediately after the accident claiming it to be illegal, but local administration minister claimed that permission was obtained for the structure. DMK Working President MK Stalin condemned the accident and tweeted, “Under the pretext of #MGRcentenary, the AIADMK govt. continues to blatantly violate the High Court’s order on obstructive & dangerous hoardings – now resulting in the death of Ragu, a promising young engineer in Coimbatore. I condemn this lawless govt. in the strongest terms.”DMK MLA N Karthik has filed a PIL in the Madras High Court to declare erection of hoardings, banners, arches and flex boards across Coimbatore for MGR birth centenary celebrations as illegal. The petitioner wants a direction to the State government to pay compensation to Ragupathy’s family. Actor Kamal Haasan reacted strongly to the incident and tweeted, “Any government that regards power and fame even at the cost of others life will fall. A government that doesn’t respect pedestrians won’t go too long on the palanquin. Banner ‘Jis’ should realise those who pave way for accidents abet murder.”

‘Two leaves’ symbol case: O Panneerselvam files caveat in Supreme Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Friday filed a caveat in the Supreme Court in connection with the ‘two leaves’ symbol case.In the petition filed by Panneerselvam, he has appealed to the apex court to not pass any order if the Dhinakaran camp moves the court challenging the Election Commission’s (EC) order in ‘two leaves’ symbol case.Earlier on Thursday, the Election Commission on Thursday allotted the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) ‘two leaves’ symbol to the party’s faction led by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisamy and his deputy, O Panneerselvam.In an 83-page order, the poll body ruled that the EPS-OPS faction would be entitled to use the name of the party and its reserved symbol, holding that it enjoyed majority in the party’s legislative and organisational wings.AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran then objected to the decision of the Election Commission, accusing it of conducting the inquiry in an unfair manner.Dinakaran also alleged that the Centre influenced the poll watchdog’s decision in the case.

Rajya Sabha MP’s post hints at differences in ‘unified’ AIADMK

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three months after the merger of the rival AIADMK factions led by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisami and his now deputy O Panneerselvam, all is not well within the unified AIADMK. A hint has been dropped by senior leader and Rajya Sabha MP, V Maitreyan, in a social media post.“It has been three months since the EPS-OPS faction merged. Months have gone, but have the hearts synced,” Maitreyan wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday morning. Maitreyan was the first AIADMK leader to join Panneerselvam’s rebellion against then party general secretary VK Sasikala on February 7, days after she tried to replace him as chief minister.When asked what prompted him to write such a post, Maitreyan declined to comment, saying he has nothing more to say about it. His Tuesday’s post was his second hint at the discontent in the ruling AIADMK in this month. On November 6, he complained that he has been ignored in the relief works in the rain-hit areas.When asked about Maitreyan’s remark, senior AIADMK leader and minister, D Jayakumar, said he was against discussing the party’s internal issues in public. He also denied any issues within the party.Maitreyan, whose political roots can be traced to the RSS and BJP before joining the AIADMK, was supposed to have played a major role in the merger in which PM Narendra Modi had shown keen interest.

No end to woes of Sasikala and her extended kin

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The death of former former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa last year has sent her close aide Sasikala’s fortunes on a downward spiral.From her conviction along with two relatives in the disproportionate assets case to losing control over the AIADMK government, Sasikala’s family has hit a rough patch. It’s also facing the heat with more court cases and raids.Key members of her family include Sasikala’s husband M Natarajan, nephews T TV Dinakaran and V N Sudhagaran, her brother Divakaran, and her deceased brother’s wife J Ilavarasi.So far, seven of her family members are facing a jail sentence and court cases against other family members are in the advanced stages of hearing. Sasikala, her sister-in-law Ilavarasi and her nephew VN Sudhakaran were sentenced to four-year imprisonment in the Jayalalithaa’s disproportionate assets case in February when the Supreme Court upheld the trial court verdict.The apex court ruling coincided with the rebellion led by her one-time loyalist O Panneerselvam. This saw her being sidelined in the party and the government, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi actively backing it.On Friday, Sasikala’s ailing husband M Natarajan, who underwent a dual-organ transplant last month, was sentenced to two years in jail along with his nephew V Bhaskaran and three others in a luxury car import case.The Central Bureau of Investigation charged Natarajan and four others for importing a Lexus car in 1994 by declaring it as a used car to evade an import duty of Rs 1.6 crore.Sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dinakaran’s sister Sreedaladevi and her husband Bhaskaran were also convicted in a disproportionate assets case.Dinakaran has been asked by the ED to pay a fine of Rs 28 crore for violation of rules governing foreign exchanges. The move has now been confirmed by Madras HC.To compound their woes, the Sasikala family is facing a new trouble through the Income Tax searches that were conducted on 187 premises across the country, unearthing documents showing undisclosed investments to the tune of Rs 1,430 crore.

Poes Garden raids ‘betrayal to Amma’s soul,’ an attempt to destroy our family, alleges TTV Dhinakaran

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>TTV Dhinakaran, the rebel AIADMK leader, has slammed the lat night Income Tax raids at the Poes Garden in Chennai on Friday.The official residence of Tamil Nadu’s former Chief Minister and AIADMK matriarch J Jayalalithaa, the Poes Garden has been the centre of Tamil politics.Calling the I-T raids an attempt to destroy his family, Dhinakaran also termed the late night operations as ‘betrayal to Amma’s soul’.Though reports now confirm that the ‘search and recovery’ operation was confined to only two rooms in Poes Garden, the protests are inevitable.Dhinkaran, nephew of Jayalalithaa’s once closest aide VK Sasikala, said that he and his family is ‘not scared’ by the raids and that ‘we won’t run away’.The jailed confidant and her family is under radar for unaccounted income. Sidelined and under tax department’s lens, the Sasikala clan is trying hard.In a no-holds barred approach, Dhianakaran not only attacked the state government of Edappadi K Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam but also dragged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley into the raids issue.He said that the Centre is using the I-T department to destroy his family. The raids are a follow-up of the mega search operations carried out earlier this month.There are reports that the I-T officials seized a laptop and few pen drives as what is believed a crucial evidence in the unaccounted income case.

Sasikala’s husband M Natarajan admitted to hospital after Madras HC upholds jail term in luxury car case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after Madras High Court sentenced him for two-years-imprisonment in a two-decade-old luxury car import case, jailed AIADMK leader VK Sasikala’s husband M. Natarajan is admitted to the hospital.He is admitted to Gleneagles Global Health City where underwent dual organ transplant last month.Sources said that he was admitted after he complained of some uneasiness. He was discharged from the hospital on November 2 after the successful organ transplant.Natarajan and three others were convicted of conspiracy, forgery, cheating and tax evasion and sentenced to two years in jail in the case by a CBI court in 2010.The case relates to the import of a Toyota Lexus car in 1994, declaring it as a used vehicle and thereby allegedly evading tax to the tune of Rs 1.06 crore.The CBI and Enforcement Directorate had registered separate cases against Natarajan and three others after it was found that the documents presented by them were fabricated.According to CBI, Natarajan, along with three others –his nephew V Bhaskaran, Yogesh Balakrishnan and Sujaritha Sundararajan substituted the original sale invoice with a photocopy of an invoice fabricated by changing the vehicle’s manufacturing date to July 1993.They cleared the car under transfer of residence provision, and thereby caused a of Rs 1.06 crore to the exchequer by way of short levy, penalty and redemption fine, the CBI said.

I-T officials likely to question Sasikala in prison

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After detecting undisclosed income of Rs1,430 crore from the simultaneous searches at 187 premises connected to jailed AIADMK leader VK Sasikala’s kin and their associates, Income Tax department officials are planning to question her and her sister-in-law Ilavarassi in Bengaluru prison. Both Sasikala and Ilavarassi are undergoing a four-year imprisonment in Bengaluru jail after being convicted in former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s disproportionate assets case in February this year by the Supreme Court.In the massive multi-city search operation that lasted for five days till Monday, the IT officials unearthed incriminating documents revealing undisclosed investments to the tune of Rs 1,430 crore, Rs 7 crore cash, Rs five crore worth gold and diamonds from the premises connected the AIADMK leader’s kin and their associates.The I-T officials said that they were planning to approach the appropriate court to get its permission to question Sasikala and Ilavarassi on the tax evasion. “In the course of our investigation, we will question them,” the official said.I-T officials questioned Ilavarassi’s son Vivek Jayaraman who is MD of Jaya TV and CEO of Jazz Cinemas and her daughters Krishnapriya and Shakila on the documents seized from their premises and their source of income for the investments made by them.Sasikala, a long-time aide of late Jayalalithaa, was enjoying enormous power in the AIADMK government. After the electrocution of her husband Jayaraman in Jayalalithaa’s farm in Hyderabad in 1990, Ilavarassi along with her three children were brought to stay in late Chief Minister’s Poes Garden residence.Sources said that Vivek was supposedly taking care of all the business dealings of Sasikala’s family. Vivek rose to prominence in November 2015 when his Jazz Cinemas acquired Luke Cinemas, the 11screen multiplex owned by SPI Cinemas in the Phoenix Mall in Velacherry here. It was alleged that SPI Cinemas popularly known as Sathyam Cinemas was coerced into selling their multiplex at the mall to Vivek who later renamed it as Jazz Cinemas. IT officials said that all his business transaction including the dealings of Jazz Cinemas. Three staffs of Jazz Cinemas appeared before the IT officials for the questioning on Tuesday.

I-T raids: Jaya TV MD, ex-CM’s PA, doctor questioned

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The five-day long Income Tax raids on the premises connected to jailed AIADMK leader VK Sasikala’s kin and their associates came to an end on Monday with the officials questioned Jaya TV managing director Vivek Jayaraman, former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s personal assistant S Poongundran, her physician Dr KS Shivakumar and AIADMK Karnataka unit secretary Pugalendhi.Vivek, who is the son of J Ilavarassi, a co-convict in the disproportionate assets case and nephew of Sasikala, was supposedly taking care of all the financial dealing of his aunt, according to the I-T officials. He was taken to the I-T department’s investigation wing in Nungambakkam by the officials after completing the search operation in his residence in Chennai on Monday evening.Vivek, who was taking care of Jazz Cinemas, was appointed as managing director of Jaya TV and entrusted with the responsibility of operating Dr Namadhu MGR after Sasikala and others were convicted in the disproportionate assets case. “We are questioning him over certain transactions and investments made by him and the companies,” said a senior IT official.In the search operations launched under the operation clean money on Thursday, the official said that they had detected documents relating to investments worth Rs 1,450 crore. “We also seized Rs 7 crore cash, Rs 5 crore worth gold and valuation of diamonds yet to be done,” the officials said, adding that they also froze over 50 bank accounts and 15 bank lockers.In one of the biggest ever raids, IT department launched massive search operation at 187 premises in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, New Delhi, Bengaluru and Hyderabad targeting shell firms belonging to 10 groups including those run by members of Sasikala’s kin and their associates. Among the important premises raided including the residence of Sasikala’s husband M Natarajan, her nephew TTV Dhinakaran’s farmhouse in Villupuram, Jaya TV and Dr Namadhu MGR offices. The officials continued searches at five premises including Jaya TV office, residences of Sasikala’s sister-in-law Ilavarassi’s son Vivek and her daughter Krishnapriya on Monday.IT officials also issued summons to Sasikala’s brother V Dhivaharan for questioning on Tuesday. The official added that more people would be summoned as and when required to bring the raids to a logical conclusion.Poongundran was one of Jayalalithaa’s trusted aides, while Dr Shivakumar is the son-in-law of Sasikala’s brother Sundaravadanam. Based in Bengaluru, Pugalendhi, a staunch loyalist of Sasikala, has taken care of her needs in the prison where she is lodged. After appearing before the I-T officials, Pugalendhi said that he was asked to appear again on Wednesday. “They did not seize anything from my house. Moreover, I am not into any big earning business. I can’t say anything more,” he told reporters here.Close aidesAmong those questioned are Poongundran, one of Jayalalithaa’s trusted aides, and Dr Shivakumar, who is the son-in-law of Sasikala’s brother Sundaravadanam.Another, based in Bengaluru, is Pugalendhi, a staunch loyalist of Sasikala who has taken care of her needs in the prison where she is lodged.

Kamal Haasan denies using the term ‘Hindu terrorism’, launches whistleblower app

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Facing flak over his comments on right wing extremism, veteran actor Kamal Haasan said he never intended to hurt Hindus and opposed violence in the name of any religion.Addressing a press conference here coinciding with his 63rd birthday, amid expectations of a big announcement by him on his long hinted political entry, the actor said he was already there.”I am already here,” (that he was in politics) and was holding discussions with various experts on the matter, he said replying to a question.Referring to his write up in a Tamil weekly last week, the actor said violence in the name of any religion was not proper, adding it was not his “appeal” against violence but “apprehension.””I don’t start with the intention of hurting Hindus,” he said adding he never used the word ‘terrorism’.Haasan said he was not bothered about how many Hindus were present in that hall or even in the country but was concerned about those back at home.”I will be reduced to tears if they (family) deny me the weapon called love,” he said.Haasan recently courted controversy when he hit out at what he called Hindu extremism last week, claiming that right-wing groups have taken to violence because their earlier “strategy” has stopped working.A complaint has been filed against the actor in a court in Uttar Pradesh for allegedly hurting religious sentiments of Hindus by his remarks.”Earlier such Hindu right-wingers, without indulging in violence against those belonging to other religions, made the latter indulge in violence through their arguments and counter arguments,” he said in the controversial remarks.However, since “this old conspiracy” had begun to fail, the groups were indulging in violence, he said.”Extremism is in no way a (mark of) success or growth for those who call themselves Hindus,” he said in the writeup.Amidst a strong buzz of his possible political entry, the veteran actor announced the launch of a ‘digital platform’ which he said could act as a ‘whistle-blower’.At the packed press conference, he said people can share complaints and their grievances on the app for possible redressal.Haasan said he will undertake a state-wide tour of Tamil Nadu.”#KH”, an app, will serve as a ‘digital platform’ and a ‘whistleblower,’ the veteran star said adding it was under testing and he could give a complete picture on it by January.The actor had been critical of the AIADMK government on corruption, drawing the ire of several ministers in recent past.

DMK calls for DeMo protest hours after PM Modi visits Karunanidhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on ailing DMK president M Karunanidhi at his Gopalapuram residence, DMK on Monday asked its district units except eight rain-affected districts to hold a massive demonstration to observe November 8 – the first anniversary of demonetization as ‘Black Day’.”Condemning the BJP government at the Centre, all the DMK cadres wearing black clothes would take part in the demonstration to be led by the district secretaries at their respective district headquarters on November 8 marking the first anniversary of the demonetization,” the DMK statement said.The party, however, exempted the eight districts that are hit by the heavy rains and floods to allow the cadres to carry out the relief works. The timing of the party announcement has raised several eyebrows as it comes hours after Modi visited the party chief. In fact, Modi’s visit to Karunanidhi’s Gopalapuram home was announced at the last minute.Modi who was in the city to attend a Tamil daily’s 75 years celebration made a brief visit to inquire about the health condition of the-93-year-old Karunanidhi who is recovering from a long illness and recently made his first public appearance in months at an exhibition. Karunanidhi’s son and party working president MK Stalin who cut short his foreign trip to receive Modi along with his sister Kanimozhi. The leaders of both DMK and BJP described the Prime Minister’s visit as a courtesy call even though the political circles abuzz with speculation.Prime Minister enquired about the health of Karunanidhi and invited him to his residence in New Delhi, said BJP’s Tamil Nadu unit president Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan.Karunanidhi presented Modi a copy of Kuraloviam, his commentary on Thirukkural, and the 75th-anniversary souvenir of the DMK organ Murasoli. The Prime Minister met Karunanidhi’s wife Dayalu Ammal and enquired about her health.The DMK is an ally of the Congress in Tamil Nadu and has been actively working with the opposition parties at the national level to counter the BJP government at the Centre. The DMK hoping to return to power in the state while the BJP wants the AIADMK which it considers as its natural ally, to complete its full term.

AIADMK minister brags about party’s Modi connect

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In what could be yet another embarrassment for the ruling AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu, State Dairy Development Minister KT Rajendra Balaji has said that nobody could shake the AIADMK as long as Prime Minister Narendra Modi “supports the party”.”Modi is with us. We need not fear anyone. He (Modi) will take care. We are going to get the party’s two leaves symbol,” Balaji told a party rally at Andipatti in Southern Tamil Nadu.Pointing out the support of office-bearers and elected representatives to the unified AIADMK headed by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and deputy CM O Panneerselvam, Balaji expressed confidence that the Election Commission would give its order in their favour only.”How can the EC give a different order? More than anything, Delhi is supporting us. We need not fear even if Obama or Trump opposes us. Because Modi is with us,” said the minister, known for his motor-mouth.The minister’s remarks have given credence to Opposition party’s charge that the BJP, in particular, Modi, played an active role in the reunion of the Panneerselvam-led rebel AIADMK faction with the Palaniswami camp.The Election Commission had on March 23 frozen the name AIADMK and its election symbol after the factions led by Sasikala and former chief minister O Panneerselvam staked claim to it ahead of the R K Nagar bypoll, necessitated by the death of party supremo J Jayalalithaa. Chief Minister Palaniswami, however, revolted against Sasikala. On August 21, rival AIADMK factions led by Palaniswami and Panneerselvam merged, ending a nearly seven- month feud in a power-sharing formula in the ruling party and the government in which the latter was made the deputy chief minister.Balaji had previously stirred a controversy and alleged that milk supplied by private dairies are unfit for consumption and also claimed that there were close to 40 DMK MLAs who were sleeper cells and would support the AIADMK in the event of the principal opposition party moving a no-confidence motion.The bjp support?Balaji expressed confidence that the EC would give its order in their favour in the symbol dispute. This has given credence to Opposition party’s charge that the BJP played an active role in the reunion of the Panneerselvam-led AIADMK faction with the Palaniswami camp.

Cops who let accused roam freely, suspended

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Seven Delhi Police officers from the third battalion, including an Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI), two Head Constables and three constables, have been suspended for allowing an accused to roam around freely at a mall in Bengaluru where he was taken for court hearings. The accused man, Sukesh Chandrashekhar, was arrested in April for allegedly taking a bribe from AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran to bribe the Election Commission officials in connection with the party symbol.The suspended police officers are ASI Rajesh, head constables Jeevan and J George, and constables Nitin, Keshav, Dharmendra, and Pushpendra. The officers were accompanying Chandrashekhar for court hearings in Mumbai, Coimbatore, and Bengaluru. The court hearings were scheduled from October 9 to October 16.”The Delhi Police officers were directed to escort him for court hearings in three cities. An inquiry has been initiated and all the alleged police officers have been suspended. The strictest possible action against the policemen will be taken. The Delhi Police stands against all such intolerant practices,” said Dependra Pathak, Special Commissioner of Police.In a report submitted by the Income Tax Department to the Commissioner of Delhi Police, Chandrashekhar was allowed to roam freely while he was in Bengaluru with the police officers. Reportedly, he was even carrying out his business deals and shopping at one of the malls in Bengaluru.THE CASEThe accused, Sukesh Chandrashekhar, was arrested in April for allegedly taking a bribe from AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran to bribe EC officials.

MK Stalin announces statewide tour against TN government

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With an eye on the local body polls, DMK working President MK Stalin will undertake a statewide tour in November to highlight the failures of the AIADMK government to the people.The “Ezhuchi” (Awakening in Tamil) campaign will begin in the first week of November and conclude in the first week of December, announced Stalin after presiding over the party’s district secretaries meeting here. “I will undertake a statewide tour, just like the Namakku Naame tour, which I undertook ahead of the Assembly elections in May 2016,” Stalin said.This comes with local body elections due to be held and with the RK Nagar by-polls scheduled to take place before December 31.”We are yet to decide on when and from where the campaign will begin. It will focus on strengthening the party and to highlight the failures of the AIADMK government,” Stalin said.DMK leader and MP TKS Elangovan told reporters that the party has invited many leaders across India. “Mamata Banerjee will join the campaign on the first day. We are waiting for other leaders to confirm their presence,” he said.The final plan of Stalin’s state-wide tour will be finalised in the next few days.In the crucial DMK meet, six resolutions, including one asking the district leaders to involve themselves in verifying electoral rolls released by the election commission to ensure no party supporters are left out, were passed.Declaring the state’s public health as a disaster, another resolution demanded that the central and state governments take steps on a war footing to control the outbreak of dengue, which had already claimed 50 people.

At EC hearing, Sasikala camp urges freezing ‘two-leaf’ symbol permanently

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The second Election Commission hearing over the AIADMK symbol war remained inconclusive on Monday, with the V K Sasikala camp questioning the authenticity of the documents submitted by the rival group and demanding the ‘two-leaf’ symbol be frozen permanently.Former law minister Ashwani Kumar, representing Sasikala and her nephew T T V Dhinakaran, argued the majority is on their side. He also disputed the authenticity of the affidavits filed by the other side — the O Panneerselvam and E K Palaniswami camp.”Unless the authenticity of the affidavits can be determined by the EC, there is no material before the commission to actually decide the matter of the majority support,” he later told reporters.He said the majority support under the party constitution can also be considered on the basis of the support of the primary members not only on the basis of general council members.”At the worst, even if all our arguments fail, even then symbol cannot be granted to one faction and it has to be frozen,” he said.The hearing remained inconclusive and the matter was adjourned for October 23.The Supreme Court has asked the poll panel to decide on the matter by November 10.Senior AIADMK leader and supporter of the OPS-EPS camp, K P Munuswamy, said the Sasikala faction is losing the legal battle and that is why it was demanding to freeze the symbol permanently.Counsel for OPS-EPS side and former MP Manoj Pandian said, “It is their attempts to delay the hearing process by questioning the authenticity of the affidavits. Despite their attempts to delay, we shall get the symbol,” he said after the hearing.During the last hearing on October 6, the OPS-EPS camp, which merged recently, had staked claim over the AIADMK and its ‘two-leaf’ election symbol before the Election Commission, claiming support of a majority of lawmakers and party cadre.In an interim order in March this year, the Commission had barred the then rivals– Palaniswami and Panneerselvam — from using the party’s name or its symbol in the R K Nagar assembly bypoll necessitated due to the demise of sitting lawmaker J Jayalalithaa.The bypoll, for which the AIADMK had fielded Dhinakaran, was later cancelled due to alleged bribing of voters and is yet to take place.Prior to the merger, the two factions led by Panneerselvam and Palaniswami, V K Sasikala had staked claim over the symbol. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Palaniswami was then a Sasikala loyalist.The poll panel had, however, frozen the symbol, pending decision on their pleas.Later, a large number of legislators led by Palaniswami revolted against Sasikala, who is now in jail in a disproportionate assets case, and announced merger of the two factions.Resolutions ousting Sasikala as interim general secretary and Dhinakaran as her deputy were also adopted at the party’s general council meeting on September 12.On September 14, representatives of Dhinakaran had approached the EC urging it to declare as invalid the general council meeting, citing a high court order that said any decision taken at the impugned meeting will be subject to the final outcome in the appeal. ​

J Jayalalithaa’s constituency to go to polls again by Dec

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The eight-month-old Edappadi K Palaniswami government in Tamil Nadu will yet again face a litmus test of its popularity when the bypoll to the prestigious RK Nagar Assembly seat is held in two months.Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti announced that the by-election to the RK Nagar seat, which fell vacant following the demise of then chief minister and AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa on December 5 last year would be held before December 31. The announcement has put the political parties in poll mode once again. Earlier, two days before polling on April 12, the commission has rescinded the bypoll citing distribution of money power and other allurements in the constituency.For the ruling unified AIADMK, winning the bypoll is an imperative. The by-election comes after the merger of the rebel faction led by O Panneerselvam with the ruling Palaniswami faction in August. To stake the claim to Jayalalithaa’s legacy, the unified AIADMK needs to re-emerge victorious in the seat held by her. Besides, it would be seen as a referendum on the popularity of the Palaniswami government by the opposition parties.The unified AIADMK is likely to field the party presidium chairman E Madhusudanan, who was also the candidate of the Panneerselvam camp in the April 12 cancelled bypoll. Sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran, who was the candidate for the ruling faction, is likely to contest again if one goes by the assertion of his supporter V Pugazhendi. The bypoll also comes at a time when the Election Commission is set to decide on the two leaves symbol dispute and Madras High Court hearing petition challenging disqualification of 18 MLAs owing allegiance to Dhinakaran.prestige pollsThe RK Nagar seat was last held by J JayalalithaaFirst poll the reunited factions reunited will

O Panneerselvam meets PM Modi, denies having political discussion

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam met Prime Minister Narendra Modi here today and put forward various demands concerning the state, including continuous supply of coal to Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation.The meeting comes at a time when the ruling party of Tamil Nadu, the AIADMK, stands divided and its symbol dispute is pending with the Election Commission. Panneerselvam, who recently joined hands with the faction led by Chief Minister E K Palaniswami, denied having any discussion on the political development in the state with the prime minister. In August, after maintaining silence about his meetings with the prime minister for a long time, he had admitted that he had discussed internal issues of the party with Modi.Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Panneerselvam said, “One of important demands were allocation of coal for TANGEDCO for the entire year as the company was facing shortage. I have also submitted a memorandum with various other demands.” He also said the prime minister gave a patient hearing on the steps taken by the state government to check spread of dengue.”PM has been apprised about the steps taken by the government and he has ordered a central government’s medical team to visit the state to assess the situation,” he said. Asked if they would consider a reconciliation with rival faction leader TTV Dhinakaran, Panneerselvam said a party worker had to earn the top positions in the party by working hard.

Out on five-day parole, Sasikala visits ailing husband M Natarajan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sasikala, who was removed from the AIADMK last month after the factions led by Chief Minister K Palaniswami and now Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam united, met Natarajan and was with him for about two hours in the hospital, sources said.Later, she returned to her niece Krishnapriya’s residence in the city. The beleaguered AIADMK leader’s car briefly halted in front of a Ganesha temple in Kotturpuram and she prayed from inside the vehicle as used to be done by late AIADMK leader J Jayalalithaa.Sasikala’s low profile visit to hospital was in stark contrast to her public appearances prior to her incarceration in February.During her days before being imprisoned, she used to be surrounded by party men and loyalists raising slogans praising her as “Chinnamma”.Sasikala has been lodged in the Parapana Agrahara central jail since February this year after the Supreme Court upheld her conviction by a special court in a disproportionate assets case. Her relatives Ilavarasi and V NSudhakaran are also serving four-year jail terms in the case.Facing tough parole conditions, she refrained from visiting party men or interacting with them during her hospital visit today.The hospital, meanwhile, said in a statement that Natarajan (74) is recovering and he is “awake and oriented and is on ventilator support through tracheostomy, which was performed on October 6”.TTV Dhinakaran loyalist and senior leader Nanjil Sampath said he saw Sasikala in the hospital and told her to pray.He said he asked Sasikala to recite ‘Sundara Kandam’ from the Ramayana “as it would bring her relief”.Sasikala arrived in the city yesterday from the Parapana Agrahara central jail in Bengaluru after being granted parole for five days.Natarajan was admitted at the liver Intensive Care Unit of Gleneagles Global Health City under the care of a team of doctors led by Professor Mohamed Rela, the hospital said.It said that at the time of admission, he had “worsening liver failure, kidney failure and lung congestion, and underwent liver and kidney transplantation on October four.” In a statement, Director, Institute of Liver Disease and Transplantation of the hospital, Dr K Ilankumaran said considering Natarajan’s age and his associated co-morbidities, his condition was stable during the surgery and he is “recovering well in the liver intensive care unit”.”He (Natarajan) is awake and oriented and he is on ventilator support through tracheostomy, which has been performed on October six.”As in any other combined liver and kidney transplant surgeries, his condition would be critical for the next few days, Ilankumaran said, adding “he is under close observation and monitoring”.It may be recalled that Sasikala had sought parole for 15 days, but was granted only five days with tough conditions, including that she will not get involved in any political or other public activity or take part in party activities.She is allowed only to visit the hospital where her husband is admitted and stay at the residence as mentioned in the application.Sasikala has also been restricted from interacting with any media — print or electronic.

VK Sasikala granted parole to meet her ailing husband M Natarajan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sidelined AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala, who is serving four-year sentence in Bengaluru jail, has been granted a five-day parole on Friday to visit her ailing husband M Nataranjan in Chennai.Earlier, the Karnataka Prisons authority on Tuesday had rejected the parole application filed by the AIADMK leader. Sasikala on October 1 had applied for a 15-day parole to meet her unwell husband, according to her nephew and ousted leader TTV Dhinakaran.Natarajan is currently undergoing treatment at a corporate hospital for liver problem and was awaiting for liver transplantation.Sasikala, who is serving in Parappana Agrahara jail in Bengaluru, was convicted and sentenced to a four-year prison term in the Rs 66.6-crore disproportionate assets case. Along with Sasikala, her relatives Ilavarasi and V N Sudhakaran are also serving a four-year jail term.

HC adjourns MLA disqualification case, stay on TN floor test to continue

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Madras High Court on Wednesday ordered to continue its stay on floor test in the Tamil Nadu Assembly. It also continued its stay on holding by-elections for the 18 seats that were declared vacant by the Speaker P Dhanapal after he disqualified 18 MLAs belonging to TTV Dinakaran camp.Hearing the petition challenging the Speaker’s decision to disqualify 18 MLAs, Justice K Ravichandra Babu ordered the continuation of the consent order earlier passed, and adjourned the case for further hearing till October 9.The judge also ordered the Speaker to respond by October 12 to DMK’s demand for action against 11 legislators of the ruling party who had voted against Chief Minister E Palaniswami in a trust vote earlier this year as part of the rebel camp of O Panneerselvam. The two factions of the AIADMK have since reunited.Appearing for the disqualified MLAs, senior Supreme Court lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi termed the action of the Speaker as ‘unconstitutional’ as he acted in a ‘partisan and biased manner’. They were disqualified on an ‘unnamed, unsigned and unverified’ complaint against the MLAs contrary to the principles of natural justice and all legal principles.Singhvi contended that the MLAs could not be disqualified under the provisions of the anti-defection law as they had not gone against the party and only petitioned the governor for the removal of the ‘corrupt’ chief minister. “There were no legal proceedings conducted by the Speaker and rules of natural justice were not applied to the MLAs,” the counsel maintained.He pointed out that no action has been taken against the plea for disqualification filed against deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam and 11 MLAs who voted against the government earlier this year. On the contrary, action against the 18 MLAs was taken on the same day of complaint and disqualification was done within 21 days.Another senior counsel, Aryama Sundaram, who appeared for the Speaker, said the Speaker had filed a detailed counter affidavit strongly denying all the allegations made against him and that there was no denial of natural justice. The Speaker has clearly stated that time was given to the MLAs several times. “We will argue the case when our turn comes,” he said. Singhvi will resume arguments on October 9.

Karnataka Prisons Department rejects Sasikala’s parole application to visit ailing husband

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Tuesday, the Karnataka Prisons department rejected Sasikala’s parole application to visit her ailing husband. The prison authorities were considering a plea by jailed AIADMK leader V K Sasikala to release her on parole for 15 days to meet her ailing husband, who is awaiting a liver transplant at a Chennai hospital.”Yesterday, we received an application from Sasikala, urging us to release her on a 15-day parole. She has said that her husband is unwell and admitted in a hospital in Chennai. Sasikala’s (60) husband M Natarajan (74) is admitted in the liver intensive care unit of a corporate hospital since last month following a kidney and liver failure.He is awaiting a deceased donor liver transplantation and a kidney transplantation, according to doctors. Sasikala is in jail here since February after the Supreme Court upheld her conviction by a special court in a disproportionate assets case.Along with Sasikala, her relatives Ilavarasi and V N Sudhakaran are also serving a four-year jail term. Sasikala’s nephew and sidelined AIADMK leader T T V Dhinakaran had also said in Chennai yesterday that she had applied for a 15-day parole to meet her ailing husband.

Tamil Nadu: Rajinikanth says Kamal Haasan wants him to join hands in politics

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In Tamil Nadu, it is no secret that politics and cinema go hand in hand. This was seen once again on Sunday when superstar Rajinikanth used the inaugural of legendary actor Sivaji Ganesan’s memorial in Chennai to send out a political message that cinema fame alone does not guarantee a successful political career. He also revealed that actor Kamal Haasan who is openly talking about his political entry, wanted him to join hands with him.Sharing the dais with deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam and actor Kamal Haasan here, Rajinikanth said that Sivaji has taught a lesson to his juniors (in cinema) not only in action, but in politics too. “Sivaji sir started his own political party and lost his own seat in the polls. There is a lesson in it. To emerge successful in politics, it is not only enough to have cinema fame and name. We need something more than (fame) only people know what it is,” he said.Rajini said that Haasan knows what it requires to emerge successful in politics but he won’t share it with him. “If I had asked him two months ago, maybe he would have told me. Now when I ask him as a senior in the film industry, he says “come with me, I’ll tell you,” he said breaking into laughter with Haasan looking at him.The superstar was apparently replying to Haasan who has been more vocal about his political ambitions telling reporters that he would not hesitate to join hands with Rajini and even if he needs to take on Rajini in future they would remain decent in attacking each other.Haasan, earlier, took pot shots at the AIADMK government saying that there was no need to plead with anybody to show respect to the veteran actor. A controversy broke out over the inauguration of the memorial as it was earlier planned to be opened by Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar. However, Sivaji’s family members and the film fraternity wanted the memorial to be inaugurated by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisami or Panneerselvam. “How many ever governments come, they have to respect the actor. For this we need not plead with anybody,” he said.Interestingly, Haasan who has been criticizing the AIADMK government did not mention the names of Panneerselvam or others ministers present at the dais. Rajinikanth had told his fans in May that God willing, he would join politics. After dropping hints of taking the political plunge, the actor has been evading any queries on politics and giving cryptic replies. On the other hand, Haasan who was more vocal in his criticism of the ruling AIADMK government through his tweets announced his plans to float his own political party as none of the existing parties provide him the platform to take forward his reformatory ideology. He also met CPI (M)’s Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and AAP’s Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal which he claims is part of his educational tourism. The 28,300 sq ft Sivaji Ganesan memorial has been built by the Public Works Department at a cost of Rs 2.80 crore at Adyar in the Dravidian style of architecture. In 2015, then chief minister Jayalalithaa had announced in the Assembly that a memorial will be built honouring Sivaji Ganesan, who ruled the Tamil film world since the 1950s. A winner of the coveted Dada Saheb Phalke award, Ganesan had acted in over 300 films most of which were big hits. He passed away on July 21, 2001.

‘Is it a crime to be cordial with Centre?’, TN CM Palaniswami responds to DMK’s slave barb

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Saturday hit back at the DMK’s barb that the ruling AIADMK was “subservient” to the BJP-led Union government, asking if it was a crime to have cordial ties with the Centre.Taking aim at the DMK, Palaniswami said people knew those who had cordial ties with the Centre “for the sake of office” and criticised it when they failed to get benefits.DMK has repeatedly attacked the ruling AIADMK on a host of issues for “becoming a slave” of the Centre.”Is it a crime to be cordial with the Centre.. is the Central government a foreign government? Why are they often forgetting that India is our nation and we are all Indians,” he said.Addressing the centenary celebrations of former chief minister and AIADMK founder M G Ramachandran here, he recalled that the late leader had cordial ties with former prime ministers Morarji Desai, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, he said.By maintaining cordiality, MGR had got funding for welfare schemes for Tamil Nadu and his government was following it, he said.Palaniswami listed several schemes, including housing, Japanese industrial township and flights for destinations in Tamil Nadu under the regional connectivity plan, that were gained through ties with the Centre.On September 17 too, the chief minister had said that his government maintained smooth relations with the Centre as only then could the state get much-needed development schemes, new plans and fundings for the same.Referring to Opposition criticism against him for narrating stories at events, Palaniswami said even former chief minister Jayalalithaa had faced flak for it.”‘Amma’ had said that she will not stop recounting stories notwithstanding criticism, as it was useful for the people,” Palaniswami said.”We follow Amma’s way,” he said, apparently indicating that he too would not stop doing so.Refraining from naming the Dhinakaran camp, which has the backing of 21 MLAs, he said some were trying to “dislodge” his government and talking “arrogantly” and asserted that their machinations would not fructify.He hit out at Dhinakaran without naming him by telling a tale of a tree and a creeper and indicated that the rival leader would ‘wither away’ like the creeper in the story.Palaniswami announced several new schemes,including seven new check dams in Salem district, a training centre for transport corporation employees, drinking water scheme for Sangagiri Town Panchayat, and a ring road here.​

Jayalalithaa was ‘breathless’, had critical ‘respiratory distress’ when admitted to Apollo: Reports

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>J Jayalalithaa’s first medical report that was filed on the day she was brought to Chennai’s Apollo Hospital has been leaked in local media.According to the latest media reports, the medical record of the then Tamil Nadu Chief Minister said that she was ‘breathless’ and ‘drowsy’ when admitted.She had extremely high sugar level at 508 and very low oxygen saturation level at 45%, the report said.The NDTV report said that though her condition was critical, Jayalalithaa was conscious and talking.The new round of reports have deepened the mystery surrounding the death of AIADMK’s ‘eternal General Secretary’ on December 5 last year even as an inquiry commission headed by retired High Court judge has been set up to probe the death.The leaked medical report also clears one thing that Jayalalithaa didn’t suffer any external injuries on September 22, 2016 as claimed by former Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker PH Pandian, who had said that she was pushed down by someone at her Poes Garden residence.Recently, many AIADMK members and some ministers in Tamil Nadu government had made claims and counter-claims over Jayalalithaa’s stay at Apollo Hospital.“We told lies that Amma is eating sambar, chutney, tea etc so that you will believe that she is improving. In fact, nobody saw Amma eating idli or drinking tea or chatting… all are lies,” Tamil Nadu forest minister Sreenivasan had said last week.According to the minister, everyone was lying to protect ‘party’s secret’. He said he wanted to the people of Tamil Nadu to apologise him for all those lies. “I seek pardon from you. Please forgive me.”TTV Dhinakaran, however, defended his aunt and said nobody was allowed in Amma’s room due to fear of infection. Dhinakaran also said that he has footage of Jayalalithaa getting treatment in hospital and would hand it over at “an appropriate time”.

DMK whip files HC motion to disqualify O Panneerselvam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A week after Tamil Nadu Assembly speaker disqualified 18 rebel MLAs from AIADMK, R Sakkarapani, the DMK whip, has approached the Madras high court to seek a direction for the speaker to begin the disqualification proceedings against deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam. He has also called for the disqualification of 10 other MLAs who voted against the confidence motion moved by CM Edappadi K Palaniswami on February 18.Moving an urgent writ petition during the Dussehra vacation, Sakkarapani said that Speaker Dhanapal has not even issued a notice on the petition for disqualification filed on March 20 against Panneerselvam, Minister Ma Foi K Pandiarajan, and nine other legislators of AIADMK, which would have been in accordance with the provision of the tenth schedule of the Constitution and the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly Rules for defying the party-line whip issued by the chief government whip.The DMK whip claimed that 11 MLAs went against the party whip to vote opposing the confidence motion, while MLA Arunkumar abstained from voting without permission. He noted that Pandiarajan, who had moved the Supreme Court, challenging the manner in which the trust motion was defeated on a voice vote instead of holding a secret ballot, had withdrawn the case after the CM inducted him and Panneerselvam in the cabinet last month.

Jayalalithaa’s death: Stalin urges Centre to order CBI probe to unravel the mystery

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>DMK working president MK Stalin today urged the Centre to order a CBI probe to ‘unravel the mystery’ surrounding J Jayalalithaa’s death.He said it was the “responsibility” of the Centre to do so.Stalin cited Forest Minister Dindigul C Srinivasan’s statement that AIADMK leaders “lied” about Jayalalithaa’s health when she was undergoing treatment, fearing her aide V K Sasikala.While a team from AIIMS in Delhi had come to attend to Jayalalithaa, Union Health Minister JP Nadda had also said the Centre was keeping a watch on her health, Stalin said in a statement here.”Since the central government had assisted in the treatment of Jayalalithaa, it has a responsibility to unravel the mystery surrounding her death… Therefore, using its authority, it should immediately order a CBI probe into the matter,” he said.Stalin said he was making the plea in his capacity as the Leader of Opposition in the assembly.He also questioned the veracity of Jayalalithaa’s signature on a statement made in her name during her hospitalisation seeking support for AIADMK candidates in the bypolls to three Tamil Nadu Assembly seats last year.He said her thumb impression was found in a set of poll- related documents of AIADMK candidates for the elections to Aravakurichi, Thanjavur and Thiruparankundram assembly constituencies earlier.Stalin recalled that AIADMK leaders had criticised his father and DMK president M Karunanidhi when he had demanded the release of pictures of Jayalalithaa undergoing treatment and related details, since she was the chief minister then.People in the AIADMK are now demanding the release of not just photographs, but also video, he said referring to the face-off between TTV Dhinakaran and the unified AIADMK camps over the matter.Srinivasan had recently claimed that afraid of Sasikala, party leaders had “lied” about Jayalalithaa’s health so that people believed she was improving.No one was allowed to meet the late chief minister.Whoever came, would be briefed by Sasikala’s relatives that she was “all right”, he had said at a public meeting on Friday.New reports about several leaders meeting Jayalalithaa at the hospital and their version that she was improving were also false, Srinivasan had claimed.”We were afraid of Sasikala at that time and lied about Jayalalithaa’s health condition,” he had claimed.After prolonged treatment for infection and other complications, Jayalalithaa had died of a heart attack on December 5.Deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam had earlier called for a probe into the death of Jayalalithaa, saying there were doubts in the minds of people.Chief Minister K Palaniswami had recently announced that a commission of inquiry would probe her death.

Jayalalithaa’s death mystery deepens, AIADMK minister says ‘we all lied about Amma’s health’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The mystery surrounding the hospitalisation and death of Tamil Nadu’s former Chief Minister and AIADMK ‘general secretary for life’ J Jayalalithaa has deepened with a sensational claim by party legislator Dindigul C Sreenivasan.C Sreenivasan, who is also Tamil Nadu’s Forest Minister, on Friday reportedly made statements regarding Amma’s stay at Chennai’s Apollo Hospital last year, an IANS report said.“We would have told lies that she (Jayalalithaa) had idlis and people met her. The truth is that nobody saw her,” Sreenivasan said at a meeting in Madurai on Friday.According to the minister, everyone was lying to protect ‘party’s secret’. He said he wanted to the people of Tamil Nadu to apologise him for all those lies.Last week, Sreenivasan had also said the VK Sasikala, once a closest confidant of Jayalalithaa, was responsible for Amma’s death.TTV Dhinakaran, however, defended his aunt and said nobody was allowed in Amma’s room due to fear of infection.Jayalalithaa, the matinee idol-turned-politican had a cult following and commanded loyalty and God-like devotion from her party members.Hospitalised on September 22, 2016, the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu never came out of Apollo.The entire state was on edge with many rumours circulating at that time.While AIADMK maintained Amma was fine and signing documents, it was only in first week of October that the hospital administration said that AIADMK chief had erious lung infection.On December 5 at around 11:30 pm, Jayalalithaa breathed her last.

‘AAP will get 10 MLAS’: Best Twitter reactions to Arvind Kejriwal meeting Kamal Haasan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called on actor Kamal Haasan, who has political circles abuzz with speculation that he might join politics.The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief was received at the airport by Haasan’s younger daughter Akshara.Kejriwal met the actor at his office in Alwarpet.Haasan has been critical of the AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu over various issues, including corruption, triggering sharp condemnation from some state ministers.He recently called on Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in Thiruvananthapuram.
ALSO READ After ‘excellent’ meeting, Arvind Kejriwal, Kamal Haasan say, ‘we’re united against corruption’Here’s how Twitter reacted:

Politics on a plate: Arvind Kejriwal to meet Kamal Haasan over lunch today in Chennai

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Politics of Tamil Nadu looks all set to get some ripples from Delhi as Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is likely to meet Kamal Haasan over lunch today (Thursday) in Chennai. According to reports, this meeting is a political one which would shed light on Kamal Haasan’s future moves as he is preparing to enter politics. In Tamil Nadu, film actors have played a key role in changing the direction of mainstream politics for five decades and this meeting could also have larger ramifications for Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and its leader Arvind Kejriwal who is looking for a larger role in national Opposition space. Last week, Haasan revealed his plan to launch his own political party by the end of September. The local body elections will be held in November 2017.Not much is known about the exact agenda of the meeting, but media reports claim it will be political in nature. Kejriwal, who’s back in Delhi after 10-days of Vipassana meditation camp in Maharashtra’s Igatpuri, will leave for Chennai in the morning, revealed sources in the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) reports Zee News. The duo will meet at the star’s Alwarpet residence. Haasan, who reportedly called up the Chief Minister, has organised an elaborate lunch.In the past few weeks, the veteran actor Haasan has publicly spoken up against the ruling AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu. He also called the ouster of AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala as a “solid step forward.”

Tamil Nadu: Madras HC’s Madurai bench restraints police from arresting TTV Dhinakaran

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Madras High Court’s Madurai bench on Tuesday restraints Tamil Nadu police from arresting TTV Dhinakaran and actor Senthil till October 4 on AIADMK Tiruchy MP Kumar’s complaint about derogatory remarks.Kumar had lodged a complaint with Tiruchy city police alleging that Senthil made derogatory comments against him at the behest of Dinakaran at an interaction with media persons in Chennai.The police on September 1, registered a case against Dinakaran and actor Senthil.Senthil was named the main accused in the case while Dinakaran was included as accused number two.Kumar is a supporter of Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisami.

Karnataka IG D Roopa awarded President’t medal at Raj Bhawan for meritorious service

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>D Roopa, the former DIG of Prisons who blew the whistle on VVIP treatment given to former AIADMK General Secretary Sasikala, was awarded the President’s Medal at Raj Bhawan. According to a tweet from ANI, she was awarded the model for meritorious service. Roopa, who scored 43rd rank in her UPSC examinations in 2000, was ranked fifth in her batch at NPS Hyderabad, and was the sole officer allotted to the Karnataka cadre. It seems political ranking and power doesn’t matter to Roopa, as long as she follows the book. As an SP in Madhya Pradesh, Roopa arrested the erstwhile Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Uma Bharti after the court order in a rioting case.As DCP of Bengaluru, she withdrew number of police personnel unauthorised to be attendants of VVIPs and politicians, the report stated, adding that when she was DCP City Armed Reserve, she withdrew a number of police vehicles that were being used in the cavalcade of former Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa without permit.She isn’t one to mince her words. If you follow her Facebook page, she is a regular contributor to Kannada media, and has even appeared on news channels as a panellist. Recently, she was involved in a Twitter spat with Mysuru Kodagu MP Pratap Simha after four senior IPS officers went on central deputation.She was transferred by the Karnatka government and CM Siddaramaiah had criticised her for speaking to the press. She was instead posted as commissioner for traffic and road safety, replacing her with NS Megharikh, additional DGP of anti-corruption bureau and former Bengaluru city police commissioner.The Karnataka government had dismissed reports of “preferential treatment” being given to AIADMK leader V K Sasikala at the central jail here, saying she was being treated like any other ordinary prisoner.”There is no truth in reports suggesting that Sasikala and (her relative) Elavarasi have been given preferential treatment at the prison. I had been there yesterday and I saw it for myself,” state Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy told reporters.He said the two, serving imprisonment in a corruption case, were being treated like any other ordinary prisoners.”I have not enquired about Sasikala, whether she has been given any work at the prison, but if the court orders are there then she has to be given work,” Reddy said to a query.The AIADMK’s General Council in Chennai had yesterday annulled appointment of Sasikala as party’s interim general secretary and declared all appointments/removals made by her invalid.Sasikala is lodged at the central jail at Parapanagrahara since February after the Supreme Court convicted her and two others in disproportionate assets case.With inputs from agencies

‘No work no pay only for Govt employees?’: Kamal Haasan takes potshot at AIADMK MLAs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Veteran actor Kamal Haasan today took potshots at elected representatives, saying that they should also be covered under the “no work no pay” formula.The actor’s comments came in the wake of a section of government employees and teachers striking work, with the Madras High Court pulling up the teachers for doing so.”No work no pay only for Govt. Employees?. How about horse trading politicians languishing in resorts?,” the actor said in a tweet without naming anyone.The ‘resort’ remark was apparently a reference to a section of the ruling AIADMK MLAs owing allegiance to ‘sacked’ leader T T V Dhinakran shifting resorts.Following the revolt of 19 party MLAs against Chief Minister K Palaniswami, they were all initially accommodated at a resort in Puducherry. They later shifted to a resort in Coorg in Karnataka and are since staying there.One of them shifted camps to support Palaniswami later.Incidentally, AIADMK MLAs were earlier lodged at a resort at nearby Kuvathur in February, following a split in the party when then rebel leader O Panneerselvam revolted against party chief V K Sasikala.The MLAs were accommodated at the resort ahead of the crucial February 18 trust vote of the incumbent Palaniswami government. Panneerselvam had, however, merged his faction with the one led by Palaniswami last month.In another tweet, Haasan also pleaded with the court to warn legislators “who desist from attending work.” “The honourable court warns teachers on strike. I beseech the court to issue similar warnings to those MLAs who desist from attending work,” he said.On September 13, the Madras High Court had pulled up a section of Tamil Nadu government teachers who are on strike, saying it affected students.Haasan has been recently politically active, levying corruption charges against the government.Palaniswami and some of his cabinet colleagues had hit out at the actor.

No floor test in TN Assembly till Sept 20: Madras HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Madras High Court on Thursday stayed the conduct of a floor test in the Tamil Nadu Assembly to prove the majority of the Edappadi K Palanisami government till September 20.Justice M Duraiswamy passed the order as the Speaker informed the court that he was not in a position to tell whether he would pass orders in the disqualification proceedings against 19 rebel AIADMK MLAs before the floor test is conducted.The judge was hearing a petition by DMK working President MK Stalin and Perambur MLA P Vetrivel, a loyalist of ousted AIADMK leader TTV Dinakaran. Stalin, in his petition, had sought a direction to the Governor to order a floor test for the Palanisami government, claiming that it has lost its majority in view of the 19 MLAs expressing their lack of confidence in the Chief Minister.Vetrivel, whose petition expressed apprehension that the Speaker might disqualify the 19 dissident MLAs, argued that the disqualification may go in favour of the CM in case of a floor test is conducted.Earlier, state Advocate General Vijay Narayan informed the judge that the constitutional process by the Speaker had started and the court could not pass orders based on apprehensions of the petitioners. When the advocate general informed the Speaker’s decision, the judge said, “When the speaker is not ready to tell whether he would pass any orders on the disqualification proceedings, then there is nothing wrong with staying the floor test till the A-G gets instructions from the Governor.”Narayan said this in response to a directive by the judge earlier in the day asking him to ascertain from the Speaker whether he intended to pass any order on the matter.SPECULATIONSSenior counsel Kapil Sibal, appearing for Stalin, submitted that the Speaker might pass an order disqualifying the 19 MLAs and might conduct the floor test even on Sunday so that they would not have time to approach the court for relief. He said at least 48 hours of time should be given before a floor test.

AIADMK power struggle: Dhinakaran faction moves Madras HC seeking floor test

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The cracks in the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) seem to be ever-widening as now the T.T.V. Dhinakaran faction has met the officials from the Elections Commission and has requested them to declare the recently-conducted general council meeting of the party null and void. Vijila Sathyananth, of the Dhinakaran faction, told the media here that the faction would soon hold a general council meet of the party after the consent of their general secretary – V.K. Sasikala.The TTV Dhinakaran faction of the party on Thursday moved a plea in the Madras High Court seeking a floor test in the state assembly. They have urged the court to give directions to Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) to prove majority in the Assembly. The High Court has directed Advocate General to clarify by today whether the action will be taken against MLAs backing TTV Dhinakaran. Today is the last day for the 19 dissidents MLAs to appear in person before Speaker P Dhanapal to give an explanation for the notice asking why they should not be disqualified for giving letters to Governor withdrawing support to CM Edappadi K Palanisami. Meanwhile, Thanga Thamizhselvan MLA in Karnataka resort says they have sought 5 days time to appear before Speaker.Yesterday, Dhinakaran said that he would never go with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), amid speculations that his faction would part ways from the merged factions of chief minister E. Palanisamy and his predecessor O. Panneerselvam. “I have told the governor to ask Palanisamy to prove their majority. To protect our party, I will go to any extent,” he said, adding that his faction has 21 MLAs on its side.Earlier on Tuesday, Dhinakaran invited the EPS-OPS faction of the AIADMK for a face fresh election, if they believe they have the majority in support.Dhinakaran even swore to throw the ruling Tamil Nadu Government out of power. The AIADMK, in its general council meeting, passed a resolution, according to which jailed party general secretary V.K. Sasikala stands expelled from the party and the post of the temporary general secretary forfeited.The resolution further said that the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, E. Palanisamy and his deputy, O. Panneerselvam, shall retrieve the party and its symbol.Other terms of the resolution state that all announcements by T.T.V. Dhinakaran stand cancelled.Tamil Nadu’s leader of opposition M.K. Stalin also said that he had moved the Madras High Court because Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao did not take due cognizance of his request of conducting a floor test in the state assembly. Stalin said he had asserted earlier that he will approach the court if Rao fails to address his concerns. The DMK leader demanded an immediate floor test from the Governor. (With ANI inputs)

Sasikala not receiving ‘special treatment’ in Central Jail: Karnataka govt rubbishes allegations

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Karnataka government day dismissed reports of “preferential treatment” being given to AIADMK leader V K Sasikala at the central jail here, saying she was being treated like any other ordinary prisoner.”There is no truth in reports suggesting that Sasikala and (her relative) Elavarasi have been given preferential treatment at the prison. I had been there yesterday and I saw it for myself,” state Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy told reporters here.He said the two, serving imprisonment in a corruption case, were being treated like any other ordinary prisoners.”I have not enquired about Sasikala, whether she has been given any work at the prison, but if the court orders are there then she has to be given work,” Reddy said to a query.The AIADMK’s General Council in Chennai had yesterday annulled appointment of Sasikala as party’s interim general secretary and declared all appointments/removals made by her invalid.Sasikala is lodged at the central jail at Parapanagrahara since February after the Supreme Court convicted her and two others in disproportionate assets case.In July, the then DIG of Prisons, D Roopa, had submitted a report to the Director General of Prisons stating that Sasikala was given preferential treatment in the prisons and there was “a talk” that Rs two crore had exchanged hands.Subsequently, both the DIG and DG were transferred after they were locked in a public spat over the issue and a high-level probe ordered into the claims.

iPhone 8 launch, Indian priest freed, AIADMK: DNA evening wrap

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Indian priest kidnapped by ISIS freed, tweets Sushma SwarajExternal Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted that Father Tom Uzhunnalil, a Catholic priest abducted by ISIS from Yemen in March 2016 has been rescued. Father Uzhunnalil, who hails from Kerala, was abducted in March by the terror group, which attacked an old-age home run by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in southern Yemeni city of Aden. Read all our full report here.Jyalalithaa to be ‘eternal general secretary’, says united AIADMK campThe All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) General Council on Tuesday adopted a resolution to sack VK Sasikala from interim General Secretary post. “Late J Jayalalithaa will be the permanent GS of the party,” the resolution said. It also abolished the GS posts. The meeting also adopted a resolution to retrieve two leaves symbol frozen by Election Commission. It also ratified merger of O Panneerselvan and Edappadi K Palanisami factions. Read all our full report here.Rahul Gandhi’s attack on Centre in US kicks up political storm in IndiaThe BJP on Tuesday attacked Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi over his comment on dynasty while addressing students at the University of California, and called him a failed leader. Hitting back at those who have accused him of reaping the benefits of ‘dynasty politics’, Rahul said that the entire nation is running on it and hence, one should not go only after him. Read all our full report here.iPhone 8 launch event tonight: 9 announcements we expect from AppleToday’s the big day as Apple CEO Tim Cook will take to stage at the brand new Steve Jobs Theater to announce a slew of products. While there is no denying that the next-gen iPhone or the iPhone 8 or the iPhone X will be the showstopper, what will also draw attention is the Apple Watch 3, Apple TV upgrade, and possibly a new augmented reality hardware. Here are the nine announcements we expect from the event scheduled for 10:00AM PDT (10:30PM IST). Read all our full report here.Barrel of newly-acquired M Howitzer gun damaged after field firing in PokhranThe Indian Army suffered a setback after its latest acquisition, the M-777 Howitzer, suffered an accident during field firing in Pokhran on September 2 that resulted in the gun’s barrel getting damaged. No injury has been reported, sources said. As per reports, the barrel of the gun has been damaged, extent of which is being assessed by Joint Investigation Team. Read all our full report here.

AIADMK General Council: EPS-OPS sack Sasikala from interim General Secretary Post

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) General Council on Tuesday adopted a resolution to sack VK Sasikala from interim General Secretary post.”Late J Jayalalithaa will be the permanent GS of the party,” the resolution said. It also abolished the GS posts.The meeting also adopted a resolution to retrieve two leaves symbol frozen by Election Commission. It also ratified merger of O Panneerselvan and Edappadi K Palanisami factions.In a bid to end confusion over the appointments made by ousted TTV Dinakaran, another resolution declared that office bearers appointed by late Party supremo J Jayalalithaa will retain their posts.The meeting also created new posts – Convenor and joint Convenor to coordinate the party affairs. Panneerselvan will be the Convenor and Edappadi K Palanisami will be Joint Convenor.The powers of General Secretary will be given to Convenor and Joint Convenor and form A and B (election affidavit) will be signed together by EPS and OPS.Dhinakaran on Monday fired a fresh salvo threatening to bring down the AIADMK government if their demand to change the CM and his deputy CM were not met. “We are trying to change CM Palaniswami. If not possible, we have resolved to bid a goodbye to the present government,” he warned.AIADMK factions led by Chief Minister K Palaniswami and rebel leader O Panneerselvam came together after a bitter split about six months ago and announced the merger.

Madras HC upholds order dismissing plea against AIADMK meet

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Madras High Court tonight upheld an order of a single judge dismissing a plea to stay tomorrow’s AIADMK general council and executive committee meeting convened by Chief Minister K Palaniswami-led faction.A Division Bench comprising Justices Rajiv Shakdher and Abdul Quddhose in its order said, “We agree with the conclusion reached by the learned single judge.” Justice C V Karthikeyan in his order earlier in the day had dismissed a plea by P Vetrivel, MLA, a loyalist of sidelined AIADMK leader T T V Dhinakaran, seeking a stay on the meeting, and imposed a cost of Rs one lakh on him for “wasting” the time of the court.The Bench said the meeting can “go on” and there is “no stay” while upholding the single judge’s order.The court made it clear that any decision taken at the impugned meeting will be subject to the final outcome in the appeal and posted the matter to October 23.Also, the bench said the observations made by it would in no manner impact the decision that the Election Commission of India will take in the dispute pending before it.”Consequently, the prayer made to injuct the impugned meet or to stay the order of the single judge is rejected,” the bench ruled.In his suit, the MLA had sought a permanent injunction restraining Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam from in any manner using the name AIADMK (Amma) and AIADMK (Puratchi Talaivi Amma), and calling the general council meeting.He also filed an application seeking an interim order staying the meeting.The judge said that being an MLA, the applicant should have taken note of a circular issued by the High Court earlier, which stated that MPs and MLAs should first get the nod of the Chief Justice for filing petitions.Without getting the nod, Vetrivel has filed the suit, the judge said.Referring to the contention of his counsel that the suit has been filed in Vetrivel’s individual capacity and also that the defendants had been sued in their individual names, Justice Karthikeyan said it had only helped the applicant to circumvent the court’s circular.Coming down heavily on the applicant, the judge in his order said he did not have any cause of action.He then said Vetrivel had three options — attend tomorrow’s meeting either in his individual capacity or as an MLA or choose to remain at his house with his family and friends and enjoy lunch and afternoon siesta or resign his post as a legislator and be rid of the irritants which upset his balance and peace of mind.Referring to the suit naming Dhinakaran as the fourth defendant, he said this was actually a very “condemnable” practice.Such practices were being sometimes followed in several litigations, “wherein a ‘should be plaintiff’ is shown as the defendant so that at an opportune time, he could effectively stab the contesting defendants in the back.”Probably it is in this background that the applicant impleaded Dhinakaran as fourth defendant. This in simple terms is collusion. Then the entire character of the suit becomes vexatious,” the judge added.When Vetrivel’s counsel made a request to grant liberty to the petitioner to approach the Election Commission against the general council meet, the judge observed that no one could prevent any person from approaching an appropriate forum to vent grievances.Later, senior counsel T V Ramanujam appeared before the first bench, comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar and made a special mention stating that they would file an appeal against the single judge’s order.He sought an urgent hearing of the appeal since the meeting was to be held tomorrow.The chief justice told the counsel to file the appeal and approach the appropriate bench for taking up the issue.

BJP eyeing strong political future in TN

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While propping up AIADMK government for its own end, the BJP unit in Tamil Nadu is also parallelly trying to consolidate its support in the state by wooing leaders of political parties hailing from the numerically strong OBC community.Aiming to create its foothold in the state’s political landscape, the BJP, with a limited presence in two to three districts in the state, is focusing on wooing leaders from the Vanniyar community in nothern Tamil Nadu, Gounders in the west and Thevars in the south.The three backward castes – Vanniyar, Gounders and Thevars — dominate politics by holding powerful positions in all political parties in Tamil Nadu.AIADMK, traditionally, enjoyed the support of Gounders and Thevars while the DMK dominates northern districts with the support of the Vanniyars.A senior BJP leader said the party’s central leadership wanted the state unit to adopt the Uttar Pradesh model of caste experiment, to penetrate the state’s vote base. “Our focus is mainly on 2019 Parliamentary polls when Prime Minister Narendra Modi would seek a second term. However, there is a possibility of facing an early assembly poll if the AIADMK government falls,” the leader said.As part of its strategy to expand its base, the leader said the party is on a spree to woo leaders from other parties, particularly from AIADMK, and seek a merger of fringe groups with it.In western Tamil Nadu, BJP has made inroads to Coimbatore and Tirupur districts after the 1998 blast incident in the southern city. Kongunadu Jananayaka Katchi (KJK), the Gounders-based fledging political party, on Tuesday, merged with its ally BJP. KJK founder GK Nagaraj said his party’s 1.42 lakh cadres would join BJP along with him.The merger, he said, would strengthen the BJP when Prime Minister Narendra Modi is providing corruption-free governance and ensuring implementation of schemes for the welfare of the western region.The saffron party has its strongest base in the state at Kanyakumari district in the down south.Minister of State for Finance Pon Radhakrishnan is the lone MP from the state who won from Kanyakumari Constituency. Already enjoying a strong support among Nadar community, the party wants to bring in the numerically strong Thevar community votes in the Southern districts.

DMK asks for floor test as CM Palanisami ‘lacks’ support

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>DMK and 21 dissident MLAs, owing allegiance to TTV Dinakaran, on Tuesday, demanded Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao to immediately order the floor test for Edappadi K Palanisami government after only 111 MLAs turned up for the legislative party meeting called by Chief Minister.The Legislators meeting was called to hear their views ahead of the party’s general council meeting on September 12 to expel the jailed party general secretary VK Sasikala.“The AIADMK’s MLAs meeting shows the government has lost its majority. The Governor must act now. It will only lead to horse trading of MLAs,” Leader of Opposition and DMK working president MK Stalin demanded.The crisis in Palaniswami government began soon after the merger of the rebel leader O Panneerselvam led faction on August 21. Opposing the merger and efforts to expel party general secretary VK Sasikala, 19 dissident MLAs gave a letter to the Governor, withdrawing support to Chief Minister Palaniswami by citing corruption and lack of trust on him. However, the Governor refused to order the floor test stating that it was an internal affair of the AIADMK.Stalin, who had written twice to the Governor seeking floor test, while his party and Congress MLAs met him in this regard, said the Governor should immediately order the floor test to avoid the accusation that Governor is taking orders from BJP government. A delegation of opposition party MPs called on President Ram Nath Kovind seeking his intervention. Former Minister P Palaniappan in the Dinakaran camp said even if 110 or 111 MLAs attended the meeting called by Palanisami, they are still falling short of seven to six MLAs for the simple majority of 117 MLAs required the 234 member assembly including one vacant seat.

Decoding PM Narendra Modi’s cabinet reshuffle

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>From rewarding performance to pleasing the RSS, PM Modi and Amit Shah maintained a delicate balance in the cabinet reshuffle and expansion. Jagdeesh Chandra, CEO, ZMCL, decodes the finer details of the cabinet reshuffle.What were the parameters of the cabinet expansion and reshuffle?Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a distinct style. He has left for China leaving behind people in suspense, thrill and emotion after such an elaborate expansion. The biggest parameters are delivery, performance and loyalty and the reshuffle and expansion have taken place on the basis of these things.What is the impact of the Amit Shah factor in this reshuffle?It’s the Amit Shah phenomenon. There is a culture in BJP and those who know, say that at least 80 per cent appointments, postings and transfers have taken place on the recommendations and opinion of Amit Shah.What was the role of the RSS in the reshuffle?RSS is an eternal fact of the BJP. The decision was taken by Amit Shah and Narendra Modi in consonance with RSS and the reshuffle was discussed in entirety. Apart from the issue of Uma Bharti and Nitin Gadkari, whom RSS wanted to give the Defence Ministry, no dispute or differences in opinion were visible. So it can be ascertained that RSS had a complete role. Why was JD(U) not included in the cabinet? Is the Modi-Nitin alliance on the verge of a break-up?It is learnt that there was no consensus between them in terms of seat distribution. Nitish Kumar wanted two posts of cabinet ministers but Narendra Modi and Amit Shah wanted to give one of each – cabinet minister and minister of state – which could be decided between them. Shah and Modi feared that had two cabinet ranks been given to JD(U), Shiv Sena and AIADMK would also make similar demands.Why didn’t AIADMK join the cabinet, was there no consensus between Shah and the AIADMK leaders?The story of AIADMK is different. There are two camps in the party, both the camps have joined hands broadly. After the death of Jayalalithaa, with the scale of economic empire they have, the Income Tax is keeping a tight vigil. They know their fate and broadly they also want to join hands with the Central government. So consensus is clear, but there is no consensus between the AIADMK camps. One camp with 21 MLAs has broken away and there is a risk that it can put up a claim for chief minister. In that case Narendra Modi and Amit Shah would not like to take any risk.Will there be another cabinet expansion to accommodate associates like JD(U)-AIADMK or is this a closed chapter till 2019?I think there will be a fourth reshuffle. There are speculations that the expansion would take place on 17 September, in which JD(U)-AIADMK would be accommodated and a decision on the elevation of Shiv Sena will also be taken. So the chapter hasn’t closed yet.Will few CMs of BJP-ruled states be removed and accommodated in the next possible reshuffle?Firstly, there is a dispute whether the reshuffle will happen on September 17 or October 17. As far as CMs are concerned, it is learnt that few ministers of states may be inducted in the cabinet. Yes, there is no denying that one or two ministers may leave state politics to get a taste of Central politics.Why didn’t Gadkari want to take charge of Railways?Nitin Gadkari is a visionary leader. He works in his own style. He is likely to have thought that there is nuisance every day in the Rail Ministry – people keep asking for resignations on morale grounds at the time of any untoward incidents. In this cabinet expansion, he has been given a new ministry – Ganga rejuvenation – which he likes.Do you think Piyush Goyal will succeed in Railways?Piyush Goyal has done wonders in power and coal reforms. As a result-oriented minister, he will rejuvenate the Rail Ministry.Why do you think Suresh Prabhu got the Commerce and Industry Ministry after his stint in Railways?It was a brave decision by Narendra Modi and Prabhu is an honest and result-oriented leader. Modi was happy with his performance, hence he gave one more chance to Prabhu.In the entire episode of cabinet reshuffle, ultimately who do you think emerged as the real beneficiary or hero?In this entire episode, Dharmendra Pradhan emerged as Hero No.1. The way he converted the Petroleum Ministry from a corporate ministry to a ministry for the poor and implemented the Ujjwala Scheme, got him a promotion at such a young age in the same department. Overall, Narendra Modi and Amit Shah are satisfied with this reshuffle. They take their decisions based on merit.Why was Arun Jaitley not relieved of the Finance ministry despite pressure from RSS?Arun Jaitley is the biggest mystery of the Modi government. He is extremely competent, result-oriented and efficient person. When he argues, you have no choice but to agree with his arguments. The PM also has agree to his logic he presents. There was pressure from the RSS to take the Finance Ministry away from Jaitley. The policies of the Finance Ministry, whether it was demonetization or GST, it is believed that traders and businessmen who are the vote banks of the BJP are getting away from the party. There were efforts to remove him from the ministry last year also, but the PM used his veto to protect him. If Jaitley is removed at this juncture, a wrong message would be communicated to the international community that our decision on demonetization and GST was wrong and this will damage the image of the government. That’s why PM used his veto and convinced the RSS.Why were retired bureaucrats given preference over politicians in the cabinet?This is surprising. Four retired bureaucrats were inducted in the cabinet. He must have thought that professionals should be brought in. Modi is known for doing experiments. He has done a new experiment with Hardeep Singh Puri. RK Singh has been given power ministry while KJ Alphons of Kerala has been given Tourism. This is a surprise element from the government.Was there any political message in the reshuffle?There is a political message in every step by Modi. The message of the reshuffle is, ‘I am in command’. That’s why people believe that in Modi’s rule, the democracy in India has turned into a presidential form of government. This is the biggest message from this expansion.Is there any role of the Anand Pal factor behind making Gajendra Singh Shekhawat a minister from Rajasthan?There is only one factor in Rajasthan – that is Vasundhara Raje factor. Whatever happens in the state is in consultation with her, as per her equation. That’s why if Shekhawat has been made minister, it is after consultation with her. This is mere coincidence that the CM and Shekhawat- both belong to the Rajput community. Anand Pal Singh was a gangster killed in an encounter. Despite that, there was sympathy for him in the Rajput community. Amit Shah might have taken feedback from the RSS and Shekhawat is known to be close to RSS. It is possible that he has been made a minister keeping elections scheduled next year in mind. But it is not fair to say that Shekhawat got a ministerial berth due to the Anand Pal factor.

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