The final list of members eligible to contest the South Indian Artists Association (also called Nadigar Sangam) elections on June 23 will be released today.
Ninety candidates have filed nominations between the two teams. One of the vice presidents’ and one treasurer’s candidature was rejected this morning, following which the members from both teams met the election officer for talks.
Sources say that contestants of Bhagyaraj’s ‘Swami Sankardas Ani’ team, Ramesh Khanna, Vemal and Aarthi Ganesh’s nominations were cancelled today as they had not paid their subscription fee.
Actor Udhaya, who is contesting for vice-president with Bhagyaraj’s team, told the press, “There are a few matters that are being dealt with under the election by-laws. An enquiry is on and we are confident things will go as planned.”
Actor Aarthi Ganesh, who was also present, said that they clarified that they had paid all dues. Ramesh Khanna also said, “These are all rumours. I have been a member since 1978. How will my nomination get rejected? There were some doubts which we have clarified to the judge, he will take the final decision now.”
According to Nadigar Sangam election rules, all members who wish to contest should have paid the subscription fee during the last seven years and must not have paid penalties for any reason.
While the final list is awaited, election campaigning is on full swing. Like the previous elections, it seems like the Nadigar Sangam building is the main agenda for both teams.
In a speech on Sunday, Bhagyaraj had hit out at Nasser’s team for the delay in completion of the Sangam building and that there was a significant portion still to complete, and funds required.
He said, “Our team has come together with the interest of ensuring the completion of construction of the building. Many of our members, mainly Ishari Ganesh (who donated Rs 1 crore), have worked a lot for this cause. The office-bearers say the construction will be completed in another six months, when there are still a lot of financial requirements to be met. At least, Rs 15 to Rs 20 crores is needed. How will this get done on time?”
Actor Karunas, who is contesting with Nasser’s ‘Pandavar Ani’, has filed a complaint against Bhagyaraj for his remarks accusing his team of bribing Nadigar Sangam members to vote for them.
In his campaign speech recently, he had stressed that the building was constructed on their rightful land and they were carrying out all their duties legally.
Meanwhile, Vishal, the general secretary from Nasser’s team, met the Kancheepuram police today with regard to the Nadigar Sangam land misappropriation case in which Radha Ravi and Sarathkumar, the ex-office bearers, were accused of selling unauthorised Sangam land for personal gains. They will not be contesting this elections as the case is pending.
Vishal also met the press today and said that that actors like Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan have not spoken in favour of either teams and the media should stop spreading these rumours. This comes days after a picture of Kamal and Bhagyaraj was widely shared and Bhagyaraj had also said that his decision to contest elections came after discussions with both Rajini and Kamal.
However, director Bharathiraja, who was appointed the president of the Directors’ Association recently, has said that his support is for Bhagyaraj.