Nadigar Sangam elections take place on 23 June; results withheld till court hearing on 8 July
Former justice E Padmanabhan supervised the Nadigar Sangam polls as the chief election officer.
Finally, the Nadigar Sangam elections and the drama surrounding it is over. Nowhere in the world in any other film industry is there so much hype surrounding who will take over as the chief for the next three years. For actors in Kollywood nursing political ambitions, to contest and win in the South Indian Film Artists Association (Nadigar Sangam) elections is essential if they have any ideas of plunging into Tamil Nadu’s Dravidian politics.
After successfully winning the 2015 elections, Vishal, Nassar and their Pandavar Ani were fighting this year’s election against veteran actor K Bhagyaraj, Ishari Ganesh and his front known as Swami Sankaradas Ani. Both these fronts were indirectly supported by one of the major Dravidian parties in the state. So there was a lot of clock and dagger stuff as the opposition front against Vishal consisted mostly of his former supporters who had fallen out with him over “his authoritarian way of running the Nadigar Sangam”.
After going through turmoil, finally the Nadigar Sangam elections were held on Sunday (23 June) under the direction of the court, with former justice E Padmanabhan supervising the polls as the chief election officer. It had been initially cancelled after the District Registrar of Societies had expressed doubts over the electoral rolls. However, the Madras High Court stayed the order and gave the green signal to hold them on the earlier announced day. But there is a rider attached: the results cannot be declared until further orders. The next hearing of the case is scheduled for 8 July. Till then, the electoral boxes will be kept under guard in a private bank’s safe keeping vault.
There was enough drama preceding the actual elections. Rajinikanth tweeted that since he was in Mumbai for the shoot of his film Darbar and was unable to vote as his postal vote reached him late .
— Rajinikanth (@rajinikanth) June 22, 2019
Of the 3,171 members, 1,604 cast their votes in person at St Ebbas’ School in Mylapore, where elections were held. Another 900 members cast their votes through postal ballots. There was tight security around as the court had asked the police to provide the necessary security for a peaceful poll.
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