Vishal did not consult anyone and jumped into politics and that’s why the heat is on him now, says an industry insider.
Chennai: Action hero Vishal appears to have landed himself in a tight spot with multiple challengers faulting him for choosing to contest the RK Nagar Assembly bypoll and demanding that he give up the leadership of the Nadigar Sangam as well as the Producers Council as the punishment for his ‘misdemeanor’.
The charge against Vishal is that he chose to contest the bypoll and made all those robust proclamations against the ruling party and the government without consulting colleagues either in the Nadigar Sangam or the Producers Council. It would amount to conflict of interest and besides, hurt the interests of both the premier bodies in filmdom that need the government’s support and cannot antagonise the rulers—the producers get subsidy from the government, which also has the power to fix ticket prices and taxes.
Though he is putting up a brave face and pretending to be on firm ground, insiders say that heat is building up for Vishal even as he is trying hard to hold on to his positions.
Declaring he would not succumb to such pressure from 'vengeful elements prompted by vested interests', he demanded proof from the antagonists charging him with financial irregularities in the Producers Council, to which he had been elected president barely six months ago.
The general body meeting of the Producers Council met here on Monday to discuss a whole range of important issues-such as the problems of small producers, the suicide of co-producer Ashok Kumar, satellite rights and the perennial piracy tyranny-but got quickly aborted amid chaos as Cheran launched an attack on Vishal and demanded his resignation. Vishal wound up the meeting and left, complaining that members used inappropriate language against him.
Adding heat to his crisis, close friend and actor-director Pon Vannan announced his resignation as vice-president protesting against Vishal's decision to contest in RK Nagar.
"The meeting ended abruptly amid ruckus after Vishal refused to answer questions saying they could wait and we must deal with the agenda only. Many members questioned the office-bearers why Vishal chose to contest RK Nagar byelection, but Vishal was not willing to discuss this", said senior member Rajan.
While his aides insist that the rebellion is inspired by the ruling party chieftains, Vishal himself says he is unwilling to make such a charge. "I do not see any connection between what is happening within our film fraternity and my RK Nagar contest. There are some minor issues and I am sorting them out. Pon Vannan has agreed to withdraw his resignation" - Vishal
"The four of us top office-bearers in the Nadigar Sangam-Vishal, Nasser, Karthi and I-had taken a vow right in the beginning not to get involved in politics. Vishal violated this code and I was unable to answer the several questions from our members. That's why I decided to resign", Pon Vannan said, when contacted for his version.
ADDRESSING THE MEDIA AFTER THE MEETING, VISHAL DENIED CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS AND CLAIMED THAT DURING THE MEETING, SOME PEOPLE TRIED TO HIT HIM.
There was more trouble in store for actor-producer Vishal who seems to be having a long and horrible week. After his nomination papers for the RK Nagar bye-poll were rejected earlier this week, the president of the TN Producers’ Council faced allegations of corruption on Sunday by several members of the council.
Actor and AIADMK member JK Rithesh said, “Radhakrishnan, who earlier held working posts in the producer’s council, told us that when he was part of the team, the council had Rs 7 crore. Now, the council only has Rs 2 crore – so where is the rest of the money?”
“It has been eight months since Vishal promised that he will give the details in the next general body meeting,” Rithesh added.
Addressing the media after the meeting, Vishal denied corruption allegations and claimed that during the meeting, some people tried to hit him.
“Some people are stopping good things from happening. They came and tried to take away the mike and hit us. This is unnecessary. Everyone has the right to ask questions but the way they did it was wrong. I would like to thank the police for helping us, the judge came and observed everything, we also have footage for everything,” said Vishal.
Speaking about the corruption allegations, he said, “If we swindled Rs 7 crore, we cannot carry out such an annual general meeting. Every week they tell the press that there has been corruption. Instead, they should come to the office and speak to us. They need to have proof, only then will we respond to them,” he said.
The meeting also saw producers opposing Vishal’s move to stand for the RK Nagar election.
“According to the bye-laws, anyone who holds an office cannot stand for the elections without resigning their post. He did, so we objected to it and questioned him. But he refused to give a reply, and that’s why this problem started,” Rithesh said.
“There was a strong objection to Vishal’s actions, but his team cleverly started singing ‘Jana Gana Mana’ when people started speaking up, in order to finish the meeting,” said actor and BJP politician S Ve Shekar.
K Velusamy, who was the Returning Officer of the RK Nagar assembly seat, has been replaced by Praveen P Nair.
Chennai: The Returning Officer (RO) of the RK Nagar constituency was on Saturday replaced by the Election Commission in an unusual move following controversy over actor Vishal's rejection of nomination papers.
K Velusamy, who was the Returning Officer of the RK Nagar assembly seat, has been replaced by Praveen P Nair.
Actor Vishal's last-ditch efforts to enter the high-stakes electoral contest in RK Nagar fell flat on Thursday after he failed to "locate" the two proposers, who had alleged that their signatures were forged, and produce them before Velusamy.
Vishal, whose nomination papers were rejected on Tuesday night, tweeted on Thursday morning citing "media reports" that the Election Commission has asked him to approach the returning officer and produce the two people if his nomination has to be accepted, in reply to a complaint sent by him.
Rushing from his Anna Nagar residence to RK Nagar, Vishal claimed he was unable to locate Sumathy and Deepan, who had reportedly told Velusamy that their signatures on the nomination papers of Vishal were forged, and alleged that they were "missing."
Later, he held discussions with Velusamy at his office in Tondiarpet during which the returning officer is understood to have told him that the duo will have to be produced if his nomination papers will have to be accepted.
After heated arguments and storming out of his office, Vishal alleged that the RO told him that he "accepted my nomination only because I threatened."
Earlier, Jayalalithaa's niece, Deepa Jayakumar, whose papers were also rejected, alleged foul play and intimidation by the ruling AIADMK.
"There was foul play; my nomination papers were tampered with. I did not fill the column on asset value in the affidavit because some of them are joint properties," she had said.
Bypoll for the RK Nagar constituency was necessary after the seat fell vacant following the death of former chief minister J Jayalithaa in December last year.
After the sad demise of Jayalalithaa, the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, RK Nagar Constituency is in news headlines with many incidents.
The latest incident connecting with RK Nagar and its Bypoll is the rejection of nomination filed by Tamil Actor Vishal.
Now, Being one of the most talked about issues in town right now, the rejection of Vishal’s nomination is heating up.
Vishal first took to Twitter to confirm that the fact that his nomination was dismissed is real and he expressed his disappointment.
After that, Vishal takes the next step by escalating this issue to the Prime Minister and the President of India, through Twitter. He Tweeted, “To the people, I look upto, Hon @narendramodi & Hon @rashtrapatibhvn. I am Vishal,I hope u r aware of wats happening in the RK Nagar Election process in Chennai. My nomination was accepted & later rejected. Totally unfair. I bring this to your notice & I hope justice prevails.”
Will this help solve the issues that are currently taking place or not? Let us wait to find out.
Vishal was pleasantly surprised when he received congratulatory message from Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Chennai: After an arduous five-hour long wait during which he fought with returning officer of R K Nagar to get his nomination accepted, actor Vishal was pleasantly surprised when he received congratulatory message from Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
“God bless u. Yes. Truth always Triumphs!!” Kejriwal tweeted quoting Vishal's message on his official Twitter page, minutes after the actor declared acceptance of his nomination papers that were reportedly rejected by returning officer K. Velu-samy.
Kejriwal, the Aam Aadmi Party convener and Delhi Chief Minister, is quite active on Twitter and his tweet supporting Vishal had gained 418 retweets and 1,100 likes within 30 minutes of posting.
“After much struggle, my nomination for the RK Nagar election is finally accepted… Truth Always Triumphs!!” Vishal had tweeted, minutes after the returning officer informed him about his decision to accept the nomination papers.
The nomination papers of actor Vishal Krishna and late J. Jayalalithaa’s niece Deepa Jayakumar for the December 21 RK Nagar bypoll here, were today rejected by Election authorities, a senior official said.
“Both their nominations have been rejected. We will get full details later...it is a quasi judicial process,” the official told PTI.
Asked about the reason for rejecting the papers, the official said it was “technical.”
“...there were some flaws in the nomination..it is an order passed by the Returning Officer,” he added.
Vishal, who heads the Tamil Film Producers Council and is the general secretary of the Nadigar Sangam (South Indian Artistes’ Association), said he was told at the last minute that there were “discrepancies,” in the papers in respect of signatures.
Alongwith several of his supporters, he briefly squatted on the road in North Chennai protesting the decision to reject his papers.
He was removed from the spot by police.
Opposing election authorities’ rejecting her nomination, Deepa alleged it was not done for any valid reasons. “It is being done wantonly,” she added.
As many as 145 nominations were received from aspirants seeking to contest the bypoll.
Currently, scrutiny of nominations are on and an official update on the total number of papers accepted and rejected is expected later.
The last date for withdrawal of candidature is December seven.
OWING TO POLITICAL CHAOS IN RK NAGAR - VISHAL MAKES AN STATEMENT
Actor Vishal has released a statement and said there is no such law states that the head of an organization should not contest in an election. Actor/director Cheran along with his supporters has been protesting against Vishal for contesting in the RK Nagar bypoll without resigning as the president of the Tamil Film Producers Council. Vishal also said that he will take proper action against Cheran if the latter continues the protest.
The sangam passed a resolution urging TN government not to remove Kalaignar Karunanidhi's name from Sivaji statue kept at Sivaji Memorial.
Chennai: At the 64th Annual General Meeting of South Indian Artistes Association, aka Nadigar Sangam, which took place in the city, its secretary Vishal announced that his entire team would contest in the next election of the sangam.
“The current set of office bearers will once again stand in the upcoming elections of SIAA in September next year to fulfil our dream of completing the Nadigar Sangam building which is set for completion in December 2018,” Vishal said.
Elaborating further, he said, “A star night which also comprises a star cricket show has been planned in Malaysia next January to raise funds for building construction, which Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan have consented to attend.”
Taking a dig at the previous regime and those who created trouble before the commencement of construction, he quipped, “Those opposing us for no reasons have gone tired. No fault can be found on us for we work honest and upright.”
The sangam passed a resolution urging TN government not to remove Kalaignar Karunanidhi's name from Sivaji statue kept at Sivaji Memorial. “Kalaignar holds a life membership card in Nadigar Sangam. Hence his name is to be included in the statue of thespian Sivaji Ganesan.”
On local body tax on cinema he said, “It is against the welfare of industry. I urge all in industry to join the fight for its abolition. Cinema cannot survive if taxed at 40 per cent. Already piracy is a big threat. We have asked for an appointment to meet the ministers concerned at the Secretariat on Tuesday and hope to resolve it soon.”
According to Treasurer Karthi, office bearers of previous tenure have utilised sangam's funds without proper accounts. "Our auditor worked tirelessly to correct accounts. Our estimated earlier cost for construction of the building was Rs 24 crores. With GST, it may go up to Rs 30 crore”.
President Nasser, vice presidents Ponvannan and Karunas and other EC members, thousands of film and stage actors participated in the event. Some of the veteran actresses spotted were Kanchana, Vaijainthimala Bali, Rajshree, Latha, Sachchu, 'Venniraadai' Nirmala and Prabha.
The Tamil Nadu State Government has revised the base ticket price for film tickets by 25%. This new ticket price system will be in effect from the 9th of October. The multiplexes located in Greater Chennai can now charge a base price of 150. If you add 28% GST (42rs) and 30 rupees booking charge, the final ticket price that a consumer would have to pay would be around 225 rupees.
Here is the abstract of Government's press release:
"The Government have formed a High Level Committee with the Additional Chief Secretaries/Principal Secretaries/ Secretaries of the Departments concerned and the representatives from the Tamil Film Chamber of Commerce and the Tamil Film Producers Council to examine various issues relating to Cinema Industry including request of Cinema Associations for revision of the rates of the Cinema Tickets.
During the High-Level Committee meeting, the representatives from various Associations from the Cinema Industry have represented that the film industry is facing lots of difficulties due to Video-Piracy, increase in the expenses in running the theatres and filmmaking and enhancement of Entertainment Tax from 20% to 30%. The Associations have further stated that in the view of introduction and enforcement of Goods and Services Tax, they will not be in a position to make films and to operate the cinema theatres at the existing rates of admission and many theatres are being closed
In view of the increase in the expenditure and incurring losses. A lot of Cinema Associations have therefore requested the Government revise the rates of admission to the Cinema Theatres."
The theatre owners had insisted for 160 rupee base price Chennai city multiplexes. However, the government has granted a slab price of 150 rupees.
Greater Chennai base price
Multiplex - 150
GST (28%) - 42
Total price for counter booking - 192
Total price for online booking - around 225
The Tamil Nadu Film Producers Council on Wednesday said no new Tamil films will release on Friday onwards until the state government removes the additional 10 per cent tax over and above the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
In a statement, President of the Producers Council Vishal said, "We will have a meeting today (Wednesday) to discuss the next course of action. No new Tamil films will release this week as we feel the additional 10 per cent Local Body Entertainment Tax (LBET) above the GST will disable the industry."
On Tuesday, the Multiplexes Association of India (MAI) directed multiplexes such as PVR and INOX here to shut shop against double taxation. "All multiplexes operating in Chennai have announced that they are going on strike starting today (Wednesday)," read a statement from MAI.
According to the statement, the double taxation defeats the purpose of the GST model and goes against the principle of One Nation One Tax.
MAI President Deepak Asher appealed to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswani and Great Chennai Corporation (GCC) Commissioner to consider their request to withdraw the LBET levied on the film exhibition industry in Chennai immediately.
Vishal said they were ready to go on indefinite strike if the government did not consider their request. "Various stakeholders have already explained their situation to the government. Unfortunately, 10 per cent tax has been levied without regulating the ticket prices. This will only increase the losses for the producers and pave way to more confusion," Vishal added.
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