RK Nagar bypoll: Vishal makes cinematic entry at 11th hour to file nomination papers, so does Deepa

Actor requests for ‘Boat’ or ‘Hand-fan’ symbol to contest RK Nagar by-election; voices concern about state of schools and hospitals, but says he would rather act than talk; rubbishes rumours on plans

Published: 05th December 2017 03:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th December 2017 11:55 AM   |  A+A-

Actor Vishal outside the nomination center in Tondiarpet on Monday | D SAMPATH KUMAR

By Express News Service

Actor requests for ‘Boat’ or ‘Hand-fan’ symbol to contest RK Nagar by-election; voices concern about state of schools and hospitals, but says he would rather act than talk; rubbishes rumours on plans to float party

CHENNAI: Actor Vishal, who announced his entry into politics on Saturday, filed his nomination papers for the RK Nagar bypoll on Monday.The actor, who is also the general secretary of the Nadigar Sangam, made an eleventh-hour cinematic entry into the election office with his supporters at 2.20 pm and had to be taken to a private waiting room, with fans further delaying the proceedings.In keeping with his last-minute decision to contest the December 21 byelection, Vishal filed his papers only at the last minute and has requested for the allotment of either ‘Boat’ or ‘Hand-fan’ as his symbol to contest the bypoll.

Speaking to presspersons after filing the papers, Vishal said he was not going to make ‘’false poll promises’’ and would rather act than talk about his agenda.He, however, voiced concerns over the delay in conducting civic polls and the state of government hospitals and schools.“My concern is RK Nagar,” Vishal said, rubbishing rumours of his plans to float a party in the near future.

Asked about his contributions to the society, Vishal highlighted his contributions to the film community in his capacity as general secretary of the Nadigar Sangam and president of the Tamil Film Producers Council.Vishal claimed to have been inspired to enter politics by Delhi Chief Minister  Arvind Kejriwal, but refused to answer a question about his efforts to curb corruption by bringing transparency in the producers’ council.

Sources close to the actor told Express that the app he had announced — VShall — would be released in a few days and would help him connect with his fans on a digital platform. The actor’s team claimed that door-to-door campaigns would also be conducted to establish a ‘personal connect’.Vishal had visited the house of former Chief Minister late K Kamaraj and the memorials of former CMs M G Ramachandran and Jayalalithaa at the Marina beach earlier in the day before filing his nomination papers.J Deepa, niece of Jayalalithaa, also filed her papers for the bypoll as an independent candidate in the closing hours.

Preferential treatment?

Monday being the last date for filing nomination papers for the bypoll, the Tondiarpet election office issued more than 100 tokens. Some independent candidates alleged that provisions were being made to give preferential treatment to popular independent candidates such as Vishal and Deepa.Mohanraj, an independent candidate, was the first to voice concerns after staging a protest in the election office.

“My token number is 41 and Vishal, an independent candidate like me, should wait in line,” he told presspersons after ending his protest.Activist ‘Traffic’ Ramaswamy, who was accompanying another independent candidate to file nomination, stormed out of the election office with allegations of preferential treatment and vowed to stop the bypoll.While Vishal’s token number was 65, Deepa’s was 91.

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