The Election Commission on Tuesday evening rejected the nomination papers of actor Vishal as an independent candidate for the bye-election in Chennai’s RK Nagar constituency. This came after they had rejected the nomination filed by Deepa Jayakumar, former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s niece.
The bye-poll to the seat, which fell vacant after Jayalalithaa died in December 2016, will be held on December 21. The results will be announced on December 24.
Returning Officer K Velusamy told The Hindu that the decision to reject Vishal’s nomination papers was made after two of the 10 people who proposed his candidature claimed that their signatures had been forged. Vishal, however, had alleged that he had video clips that proved that the two were threatened.
Earlier in the day, various media reports claimed that the poll body had accepted the actor’s nomination after rejecting it for the first time. “I am really thankful to the Election Commission for doing the right thing,” Vishal reportedly told journalists.
The poll panel said it had found several discrepancies in Deepa Jayakumar’s forms, and had hence rejected it.
Jayakumar later told Thanthi TV that she had received calls from “senior government” officials not to file her nomination for the bye-poll and that they “tried to stop me”.
“They said my nomination might be rejected,” she said, according to The News Minute. “They did not stop any of the other candidates, but they tried to stop me.” She also said that when she had filed her nomination for the bye-poll in April, before it was postponed, it had not been rejected.
Ousted All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader TTV Dinakaran is contesting the election on behalf of his faction, while the ruling party has nominated its presidium chairperson E Madhusudhanan.
Corrections and clarifications: An earlier version of the article erroneously said that the Election Commission had accepted actor Vishal’s nomination based on the actor’s claims. The error has been corrected.