The R K Nagar bypoll has become synonymous with drama and the perception is here to stay if Tuesday's incidents are anything to go by. Actor Vishal's nomination for R K Nagar took multiple twists and turns ultimately resulting in disappointment for the actor and his supporters. In a drama that seemed straight out of a movie plot, Vishal Krishna, popularly referred to as Vishal, faced rejection, staged a rebellion, announced victory only to be rejected by the Election Commission yet again in his attempt to enter the electoral fray.
While the actor claimed that his nomination to contest the R K Nagar bypoll as an independent had been accepted after multiple hurdles, the Election Commission clarified that the affidavit was invalid and hence rejected. Making the election commission's stance clear, the returning officer of R K Nagar bypoll Velusamy in a statement said that Vishal's nomination was rejected.
"...I conclude that required number of the proposers have not validly proposed the candidature of Thiru. Vishal Krishna and that he had been proposed only by 8 valid proposers and hence he has not fulfilled the conditions for valid nomination. Therefore, I conclude that the nomination of Thiru. Vishal Krishna filed in Sl. No 72, is rejected upon my summary enquiry," the statement said.
Rejected, accepted, rejected: How the saga unfolded
On Tuesday evening reports quoting Election Commission officials claimed that Vishal's nomination papers were rejected owing to complaints raised over forged signatures. The actor along with his fans stormed into the returning officer's office to inquire about the status of his nomination. Within minutes, Vishal followed by his fans blocked roads and staged a protest demanding answers.
Reports quoting poll officials claimed that the actor's nomination was rejected after a complaint was raised that two out of the ten signatures of proposers on the affidavit were forged. An angry Vishal told the media that those who proposed his name as a candidate were being threatened. He also produced an audio clipping, that he claimed, proved his allegations. The audio clipping, the authenticity of which could not be independently verified by OneIndia News, purportedly contains Vishal's conversation with a supporter.
The controversial audio clipping
"My family members were threatened by Madhusudhanan supporters for supporting you. They threatened my family members to claim that they haven't signed on your nomination affidavit and that their signatures have been forged. They were even offered money in Rs 2,000 currency notes," a man identified by Vishal as Velu is heard saying in the audio clipping.
The election commission in its statement had claimed that the veracity of the person speaking to Vishal in the audio clipping could not be ascertained. "Upon the summary hearing, it is clear that two proposers have appeared in person and staked claim that it was not their valid signatures and the representatives of the nominee of Thiru Vishal Krishna only brought a telephonic audio clip, the veracity of the person speaking therein cannot be ascertained..." the statement from the returning officer said.
Multiple twists and turns
By late Tuesday evening, Vishal finally broke his silence over the nomination and declared that after initial hiccups, his papers were accepted. "Because of a few hurdles, my nomination was kept under scrutiny but now it has been accepted. The election commission officials have done what was necessary. I will now meet the people of R K Nagar as their candidate for the bypoll and fight fairly," Vishal Krishna told the media outside the election commission office. He even took to Twitter to make the announcement official.
Within hours of Vishal's statements, however, the Election Commission contradicted the same and declared that Vishal's nomination had been rejected. The EC maintained that it had taken objections raised over signatures as well as Vishal's counter to it for summary enquiry before arriving at a decision.
After heated debates with the police and election commission officials and a high-intensity drama, actor Vishal declared that his nomination had been accepted only for the election commission to contradict the same.