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Election commission rejects Vishal's nomination after actor claims it was accepted

After the returning officer rejected Vishal's nomination for the RK Nagar by-election, the actor tweeted that it had been accepted. However, the commission announced late at night that he cannot contest.

Manigandan KR

On a day of intense political drama, the election commission officially announced that actor Vishal's nomination to the Dr Radhakrishnan Nagar by-election to choose a successor to the late J Jayalalithaa had been rejected.

The announcement put to rest the confusion that had prevailed all through the evening.

News first broke in the evening that Vishal's nomination had been rejected by returning officer Veluchamy as he found two signatures on the papers to have been forged.

The forged signatures were allegedly of Deepan and Sumathi, two of those who had reportedly proposed Vishal's nomination.

The actor and his supporters then staged a dharna (sit-in) after which they were allowed to meet the returning officer. At this meeting, Vishal is believed to have told the returning officer that the reason these two people were backing out was because they had been threatened by supporters of AIADMK candidate Madhusudhanan. The actor claimed to have audio tapes of his two proposers being threatened.

Soon after this meeting, the actor took to Twitter to claim that his nomination had been accepted.

Vishal tweeted: 'After much struggle, my nomination for the RK Nagar election is finally accepted... Truth Always Triumphs !! In Truth, I Trust & In Youngsters, I Believe....God Bless !!'

There was no official statement from the election commission till this point.

Just when Vishal's supporters were celebrating the supposed acceptance of his nomination, returning officer Veluchamy officially announced that he had rejected the nomination papers as Deepan and Sumathi had said they had not proposed his name.

The official announcement stunned Vishal, who called a press conference late at night and lashed out.

Speaking to television channels, the actor said, "It is a mockery of democracy. If someone like Vishal can suffer a fate like this, imagine the plight of others!"

Refusing to take it lying down, he said, "When I take up a cause, I fight till the end. If they won't let me contest, I will make a youngster in the independent candidates list win. I will do everything to support and help a youngster win and thereby serve the people."