Actor Vishal’s nomination papers for the RK Nagar bye-elections was rejected by returning officers on Tuesday. He is the second high-profile candidate to have his nomination papers rejected.
His nomination papers were rejected as two of the proposer's signatures were allegedly forged.
Speaking to TNM, Rajesh Lakhoni, TN Chief Electoral Officer said, “Each candidate has to have 10 proposers, who are voters in that constituency. Two people have walked in and said it is not their signature. That’s why it has been rejected.”
Vishal has approached the Returning Officer following news of his nomination papers being rejected. “There is video proof that my proposers were threatened,” Vishal told the media.
Minutes after the rejection was announced, Vishal and his team of supporters started a sitting protest outside the Returning Officer's office. As soon as the protest began, the Chennai police surrounded the protesters and demanded that they vacate the area.
Vishal, while speaking to the police officers, screamed that he wasn't getting justice. "I was called at 5.30pm -- after the office hours ended at 5pm -- and was told that two of my proposers' signatures was wrong. This is not justice."
Vishal, who also asked whether youth shouldn't be allowed to participate in elections, was detained along with his supporters just minutes after he sat on a dharna on the road outside the RO's office.
Vishal, who is Nadigar Sangam's General Secretary and the President of the Tamil Film Producers Council, had taken many by surprise by announcing his political entry on Saturday. He had filed his nomination papers on Monday – the last day for filing.
Earlier, speaking to TNM, Vishal had said, "I thought it was time. I can't sit and watch anymore. These people did not even conduct civic polls. As a citizen, one does not even know who is supposed to pick up garbage outside the house. That's the condition now."
Following Vishal’s decision to contest, a section of Tamil film producers led by National Award-winning director and producer Cheran conducted a sit-in protest inside the Producers Council office premises on Monday, demanding that the TFPC President step down from his.
Cheran said, "Nadigar Sangam doesn't need any support but producers always need the support of the ruling party. Vishal's decision of entering politics will affect the Producer Council's relationship with the ruling party. Several pending perks and benefits which the government will be supporting will be affected." He also added, "Vishal after assuming office has not done anything for the betterment of the TFPC."
Deepa Jayakumar, the niece of late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s nomination papers were also rejected by returning officers. Reports stated that her nomination papers were rejected on the grounds of being incomplete. Deepa has left blank portions of form 26, which looks at the value of her properties.
RK Nagar will see a multi-cornered contest on December 21, when it goes to polls. While AIADMK has fielded veteran leader Madhusudhanan, AIADMK (Amma)’s candidate is TTV Dhinakaran, DMK has chosen Maradhu Ganesh, while BJP has chosen Karu Nagarajan.
The results for RK Nagar bye-elections will be announced on December 24.