Deepa al­leges foul play

The Hindu - - CHENNAI - Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent

Even be­fore the dust set­tled on the con­tro­versy sur­round­ing the re­jec­tion of the nom­i­na­tion of ac­tor Vishal by the Re­turn­ing Of­fi­cer of the Dr. Rad­hakr­ish­nan Na­gar Assem­bly con­stituency, which goes to the polls on De­cem­ber 21, former Chief Min­is­ter Jay­alalithaa’s niece Deepa Jayaku­mar on Thurs­day al­leged foul play in the re­jec­tion of her nom­i­na­tion papers. She claimed that the aides of a “se­nior Min­is­ter” threat­ened her against sub­mit­ting her nom­i­na­tion papers, but did not sub­stan­ti­ate the charge.

Talk­ing to re­porters af­ter call­ing on Chief Elec­toral Of­fi­cer Ra­jesh Lakhoni at the Sec­re­tariat here, Ms. Deepa claimed that the nom­i­na­tion papers she had sub­mit­ted to the Re­turn­ing Of­fi­cer had been changed. “Much to my shock and dis­be­lief, they were not my papers at all. I had made some cor­rec­tions in my orig­i­nal papers and didn’t leave any blank page in the nom­i­na­tion papers,” she claimed.

Al­leg­ing foul play, Ms. Deepa said she had urged the Election Com­mis­sion to carry out a probe into the mat­ter. Re­ply­ing to a query whether she would sup­port any in­de­pen­dent can­di­date since she now can­not con­test in the by­poll, she said: “I will fight for jus­tice for my­self first.”

“Three days ago, aides of a se­nior Min­is­ter made threat­en­ing calls [to me] and said they would en­sure that my papers are re­jected,” she claimed. How­ever, she re­fused to name the Min­is­ter. In her rep­re­sen­ta­tion to the Chief Election Com­mis­sioner, which she handed over to Mr. Lakhoni, Ms. Deepa claimed that she had ver­i­fied the nom­i­na­tion her­self, and that page num­ber 10, i.e., Form-26, was tam­pered with and re­placed.

“She came to my of­fice around 5.30 p.m. and made a com­plaint. We will check and ver­ify the com­plaint,” Mr. Lakhoni told

Deepa Jayaku­mar

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