The South Indian Artistes’ Association aka the Nadigar Sangam is gearing up for its polls in 10 days, to be held on June 23. Meanwhile, a petition filed by an individual named A Elumalai in the Madras High Court has sought an injunction from the present executive committee members from conducting the elections.
Justice R Subramanian who heard the petition on Thursday scheduled a hearing on June 19. Pointing out that the tenure of the present committee ended on 18 October 2018, Elumalai goes on to add that any decisions made by this committee, therefore, becomes invalid.
Meanwhile, Vishal, Nadigar Sangam’s Secretary has filed a response to this petition stating that the petitioner Elumalai is neither an actor nor a theatre artist but a plumber employed by former member Radha Ravi. In 2016, soon after the present office bearers came to power, both Radha Ravi and Sarath Kumar who were previously its general secretary and president respectively, were expelled from the Sangam for “its betterment”. The two also face a civil suit for committing fraud.
Vishal goes on to add in his response that the petitioner intends to disrupt the elections only to stall the Nadigar Sangam building from being completed thereby resulting in a huge loss for the Sangam.
At a General Body meeting held in August 2018, it was decided to extend the tenure of the present office bearers by an additional six months, pushing the election to March this year. This decision was arrived at to complete the long pending Nadigar Sangam office building.
Elumalai alleges that even after an additional two months since the extension, the office bearers headed by Nasser, continue to hold positions. “It clearly proves their malefic intent of continuing in office beyond scheduled tenure,” he writes in his petition.
He further claims that the current body has removed certain members unmindful of the norms prescribed in the byelaws, thereby creating a voters' list that would prove to be of benefit to them in the coming elections.
“There has been absolute connivance and collision among the existing executive members in denying rights and privileges of the members of the Association,” reads his petition.
Seeking injunction for the upcoming elections, Elumalai also requests for the appointment of an ad-hoc committee to finalise the voter list and to conduct a fair election.
The counsel representing Nadigar Sangam submitted a voters' list of 3171 members, adding that 53 of them were removed from the Sangam for nonpayment of membership fee in addition to 52 of them who passed away since the last elections in 2015.
Asking for the list of deceased to be submitted, the judge has scheduled the next hearing for June 19.
The final list of participants in the Nadigar Sangam elections was announced recently. While Nasser will once again be contesting for the post of President from the Pandavar Ani, director Bhagyaraj who had supported Nasser’s team during the last elections, will now be contesting against him from their newly formed Sankaradas Ani.