After twists and turns, actor Vishal's nomination to contest the December 21 by-election to the Radhakrishnan Nagar assembly constituency here was finally rejected on late Tuesday by the Returning Officer.
Initially, the poll body had rejected the actor's nomination, with Velusamy, the returning officer, stating that two of the nominees mentioned in his affidavit have claimed not to have signed the papers.
The poll body said a candidate has to be proposed by 10 persons but in the case of Vishal, only eight valid proposers have endorsed his candidature.Following the initial rejection of his nomination, Vishal had a heated argument with the returning officer and staged a road-roko in front of the election office in Tondiarpet. The actor alleged that he has video evidence that the two nominees were threatened and chased from election office and that it was a ploy to prevent him from contesting the elections.
Subsequently, Vishal submitted a recorded conversation with a person named Velu, said to be relative of a woman who had proposed his candidature. As per the phone recording, Velu told Vishal that the woman was threatened to give a letter to the poll body stating that she did not sign the nomination form.
Later, Vishal announced that the Election Commission had, in fact, accepted his nomination.
But, his joy was to be short-lived as the returning officer finally rejected the actor's nomination.
Referring to the audio clip furnished by Vishal, the Returning Officer said the veracity of the person speaking therein could not be ascertained.
The actor, soon after, took to Twitter and termed the rejection of his nomination as 'democracy being at its lowest low'.
"I will not leave this here. I will choose a youngster who has been nominated as an independent candidate. I will try my best to support him and make him win to serve the people of RK Nagar," the actor had told reporters.
The poll body has also rejected the nomination form filed by late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa's niece Deepa Jayakumar, while accepting the nomination papers filed by candidates belonging to the ruling AIADMK (E Madhusudhanan), DMK (N Marudhu Ganesh), the Bharatiya Janata Party (K Nagarajan) and over 50 independents.
Deepa's nomination papers were rejected as several columns were left blank.
A total of 145 persons had filed their nomination papers of that 72 nominations have been accepted and 73 have been rejected.
The last date for the withdrawal of the candidature is December 7.
The Radhakrishnan Nagar seat fell vacant following the death of Jayalalithaa on December 5, 2016.