The self-styled ‘Pandavar Ani’ quintet of Vishal, Nasser, Karthi, Ponvannan and JK Ritheesh, along with Manobala, met the press yesterday to express their happiness over Chief Minister Jayalalitha’s decision to construct a Mani Mandapam for late actor Sivaji Ganesan. The actor has been the recipient of several awards, including the Dadasaheb Phalke award. On the subject of the elections, JK Ritheesh said the tentative date of the Nadigar Sangam elections is September 27, and will be confirmed in a couple of days.
Vishal, who is contesting for the Secretary’s post, thanked the Chief Minister and said, “I consider this Mani Mandapam a gesture of respect for the entire film fraternity, not just one individual.” The Government had responded to a petition to construct a Sivaji Mani Mandapam in 2002 by alloting land in Adayar to the Sangam. However, in 13 years, the Sangam had failed to utilise the land and had only provided Rs. 2 lakhs, instead of the Rs.4.25 lakh requested by the Government. The remaining amount was then paid by Government.
The team said they were dissatisfied that the Government of Tamil Nadu had to intervene in the issue, when the film fraternity should have internally handled the construction. They unanimously blamed the Nadigar Sangam administration as a whole and said it wasn’t any one individual’s fault.