Democ­racy is at its low­est ever, says Vishal

Ac­tor’s fi­nal ef­forts to seek re­view of Re­turn­ing Of­fi­cer’s de­ci­sion fails; he vows to take up the is­sue with EC

The Hindu - - CHENNAI - Staff Re­porter

Ac­tor Vishal Krishna on Thurs­day made a vain last­ditch at­tempt, seek­ing a re­view of the de­ci­sion of the Re­turn­ing Of­fi­cer in the R.K. Na­gar Assem­bly con­stituency. The of­fi­cer had re­jected the ac­tor’s nom­i­na­tion papers as an in­de­pen­dent can­di­date on the grounds that two pro­posers had claimed that their sig­na­tures were forged.

Mr. Vishal ar­rived at the of­fice of Re­turn­ing Of­fi­cer Velusamy barely a cou­ple of hours be­fore the dead­line for the with­drawal of nom­i­na­tions ended on Thurs­day af­ter­noon and pleaded for a re­view.

The ac­tor later told re­porters that Mr. Velusamy had told him that on Tues­day that he had orally an­nounced that the nom­i­na­tion papers were be­ing ac­cepted only un­der duress from him and his sup­port­ers.

‘CCTV cam­era is proof ’

Up­set over the Re­turn­ing Of­fi­cer’s de­ci­sion, Mr. Vishal said, “This is democ­racy at its low­est. I will take this up with the Election Com­mis­sion. What kind of mes­sage are we giv­ing to com­mon cit­i­zens of the coun­try? How can a Re­turn­ing Of­fi­cer ac­cuse me of threat­en­ing him when we were lit­er­ally beg­ging him?” he asked.

Stat­ing that the cam­era inside the Re­turn­ing Of­fi­cer’s of­fice would have recorded any such in­ci­dent had it hap­pened, Mr. Vishal said, “I can­not chal­lenge it now. But, police of­fi­cials were there, gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials were there, other can­di­dates were there with me…It will be caught on the cam­era. When the of­fi­cer called out No. 72 and said that my nom­i­na­tion was ac­cepted, I cel­e­brated and went home af­ter shak­ing his hands. Two hours later, I learnt through the me­dia that my nom­i­na­tion had been re­jected.”

On the where­abouts of Deepan and Su­mathy, who signed as pro­posers in his nom­i­na­tion papers be­fore claim­ing that they were forged, Mr. Vishal said, “I don’t know where they are. I am wor­ried about their safety.

“Any­one can go to their houses, there are men stand­ing out­side to­day. I am not think­ing about con­test­ing the election any more, I only want them to be safe.”

How can an of­fi­cer ac­cuse me of threat­en­ing him when we were lit­er­ally beg­ging him

Vishal Ac­tor

S.R. RAGHUNATHAN ■

Ac­tor Vishal talk­ing to the me­dia out­side the election of­fice on Thurs­day.

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