Actor Vishal on Thursday alleged that two people, who had proposed his candidature for the bye-election in Chennai’s RK Nagar constituency but later claimed that their signatures were forged, had gone missing. The Election Commission had rejected Vishal’s nomination papers as an independent candidate on Tuesday because he had eight, not 10, proposers as mandated under the law.

The actor claimed that K Sumathi and Deepan had lied under pressure from the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, reported India Today. Earlier, Vishal had alleged that he had videos to prove that the two were threatened to back out from being his proposers.

“I am worried about those two people who signed up for me,” he told NDTV. “We are not able to get in touch with them.”

Sumathi’s family member told NDTV they were not aware of her whereabouts. “We are all tense,” the unidentified family member said. Deepan’s family, on the other hand, admitted that his life was under threat and said he was away as his grandmother had died. “Deepan has to live. We have nothing to say,” a relative told NDTV.

Vishal may move court against the Election Commission’s decision, according to NDTV. The actor told the television channel that he has not given up hope and could support a “young, honest candidate” if the Election Commission does not change its decision.

The bye-election to the RK Nagar seat, which fell vacant after former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa died in December 2016, will be held on December 21. The results will be announced on December 24. Ousted AIADMK leader TTV Dinakaran is contesting the election on behalf of his faction of the party, while the ruling camp has nominated its Presidium Chairperson E Madhusudhanan.

DMK seeks transfer of returning officer

The Opposition party in Tamil Nadu, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, demanded that the returning officer who rejected Vishal’s nomination be transferred. The party said the officer had failed to conduct a proper investigation into the allegations of forgery.

“He should have asked for their recent signatures and if there was similarity and no evidence of forgery,” said DMK Spokesperson A Saravanan. “He should not have rejected his papers.”