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Actor Vishal announces Nadigar Sangam building foundation ceremony tomorrow, opposition grows


Actors Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth are expected to preside over the function in Chennai on 31 March. However, producer Suresh Kamatchi has sent out a letter discouraging both senior actors from participating in the event. 

Manigandan KR

The foundation stone for the South Indian Artistes' Association, better known as the Nadigar Sangam, is to be laid tomorrow at 9am on the Nadigar Sangam grounds. The decision was taken at the executive committee meeting of the association on Tuesday. However, the opposition for the actor among several producers is growing. 

The construction of the building for the Tamil film artistes is being seen as a big victory for the Nassar, Vishal Krishna and Karthi led present office bearers of the Nadigar Sangam. Actor Vishal, general secretary of the Nadigar Sangam, announced that the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) has approved the plans of the building which will cost Rs26 crore.

Inviting all members to the event in a video post, Vishal said, "The foundation stone laying function is to be held tomorrow in a grand fashion under the leadership of Rajini sir and Kamal sir. This is a historical event as after facing a lot of difficulties, we have finally got the approval and are going to build the building. We wish each of you pray and lay a brick tomorrow because we want you all to be a part of this history."

The last elections of the Nadigar Sangam saw a bitter fight between the two factions. While one party was led by actors Nassar and Vishal, the other saw senior actors Sarath Kumar and Radharavi come together. One of the key issues of the campaign was to reclaim the Nadigar Sangam land to construct a building for the benefit of actors.

The team led by Nassar and Vishal had built their campaign on the promise that they would clear the debts of the Nadigar Sangam, and immediately begin construction on the reclaimed land. However, the election has also resulted in a rift between the two factions. The annual general body meeting of the association in November 2016 saw violent clashes between supporters of both groups. The current committee had also expelled Sarath Kumar and Radharavi from their positions as lifetime members and trustees. 

The opposition to actor Vishal is not quiet, though. Producer Suresh Kamatchi has now appealed to Rajinikanth and Haasan asking them not to participate in the event. The producer made the appeal to both stars in separate letters addressed to them.

In his letter to Rajinikanth, Kamatchi pointed out that Vishal, who is already serving as the general secretary of the Nadigar Sangam, was also contesting the producer council elections. He alleged that Vishal was looking to use Rajinikanth's name for his publicity and thereby, win votes in the upcoming producer council elections.

The producer also remarked that Vishal had not paid any heed to his (Rajinikanth's) suggestion that the Nadigar Sangam be renamed as the Tamizh Thiraipada Nadigar Sangam. Kamatchi has also alleged that unlike the claims made by Vishal, the Chennai Corporation is yet to approve all plans for the building.

In a separate letter to Haasan, Kamatchi reiterated the same issues, particularly the approval of the corporation to discourage Haasan's participation.

Producer Kamatchi also questioned the reason for holding this event so close to the producer council elections. Both letters suggested that the presence of the two senior actors would give the event, and the faction of Vishal-Nassar a stamp of legitimacy. 

So far, there has been no confirmation from either Rajinikanth or Haasan regarding their participation in the event.