According to sources, Elangovan a resident of Ganapathy-Maniyakarampalayam has filed a petition against Kamal Hassan.
Coimbatore: A supporter of rebel AIADMK leader, TTV Dhinakaran has moved a Coimbatore court against actor Kamal Hassan for his controversial remarks on the recently concluded R.K.Nagar bypolls to the State Assembly.
According to sources, Elangovan a resident of Ganapathy-Maniyakarampalayam has filed a petition against Kamal Hassan, in which he had reportedly mentioned that the actor had said in a recent interview to a Tamil magazine voters had begged from a thief to poll their valuable votes for TTV Dinakaran in the recent Assembly byelection held for R.K. Nagar constituency.
Crackdown follows report submitted by 3-member panel
The DMK on Sunday dissolved all its party units in Dr. Radhakrishnan Nagar Assembly constituency based on the report of the three-member committee that looked into the circumstances that led to the humiliating defeat of the party’s candidate Marudu Ganesh in the recent bypoll.
The committee headed by party whip R. Chakrapani has advocates R. Girirajan and Kannadasan as its members. It submitted its report to the party’s working president M.K. Stalin on Sunday.
The R.K. Nagar constituency is part of DMK’s North Chennai district unit. Though officially it has seven wards, the DMK had divided them into 14 for administrative purposes. Now, all the units in these wards have been dissolved and new party in-charges will be appointed soon.
According to party sources, while the purpose of the probe was to identify the lapses of the partymen in the constituency during the election, the committee had also reported on the role played by money. What worried the party was its candidate’s failure to retain the deposit and the steep erosion in its vote base. In contrast, in 2016, party’s candidate Shimla Muthuchozhan had secured around 56,000 votes despite contesting against the then Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.
A senior leader claimed when the DMK cadres approached local people with a pencil and paper to gather their opinion on the election, many of them came with the ₹20 currency notes allegedly distributed by the winning candidate T.T.V. Dhinakaran’s supporters thinking that the party had come to settle the amount.
The committee in its report also said that in many units people were not active because of age and health problems. The party decided to revamp all the units to prepare them for future elections.
Poll officials on Friday started installing ballot papers in electronic voting machines.
CHENNAI: Poll officials on Friday started installing ballot papers in electronic voting machines to be used for RK Nagar by-poll scheduled on December 21. The final set of paramilitary force for RK Nagar also arrived with their senior officers to RK Nagar. According to sources, the central observers from the election commission of India monitored the installation process at the government training college in Tondiarpet and discussed the logistics of storing the EVM machines. They also took stock of the central paramilitary force deployed for RK Nagar. To ensure trouble-free polls, 11 companies including both CISF and CRPF personnel are deployed. Almost all the polling booths will have a two-tier security system in place.
The randomised machines with symbols will be stored in a strong room till Tuesday. They will be dispatched to the polling stations on Wednesday along with indelible ink and voters roll, sources said. Meanwhile, the election commission of India has deployed central observer V. Batra to take care of the overall polling process related to RK Nagar. Batra has already been the central observer during the rescinded April by-poll. Another expenditure observer Manvendra Goyal is also to join the election commission making the total number of observers to an all-time high in the history of by-polls.
Under systematic voter education and electoral participation (SVEEP) programme, the poll officials also put up awareness stickers insisting the voters to come forward and vote. Stickers were also pasted on drinking water cans and LPG cylinders that were taken care of consumers. On Friday, 17 more police FIRs were also filed and as on Friday, the total number of cash seizures stood at Rs 6.34 lakh.
BSP candidate's plea rejected
The Madras High Court today dismissed as not maintainable a plea for disqualifying candidates of AIADMK and DMK and Independent TTV Dhinakaran in the RK Nagar Assembly by-poll for their alleged electoral malpractices during the earlier cancelled by-election.
A bench comprising justices TS Sivagnanam and K Ravichandrabaabu dismissed the plea by BSP candidate for the by-poll AC Sathyamurthy. He sought disqualification of the three candidates on the grounds of their alleged involvement in electoral malpractices during the April by-election, which was cancelled by the Election Commission. During the previous election, various articles, including sarees meant for distribution among voters, valued at over Rs 1.59 crore were seized by EC officials, he submitted.
Over 40 cases were registered and 82 persons involved in such malpractices were arrested, the petitioner said. Besides this, various incriminating materials were seized in the raids conducted by the Income Tax department at the residence of health minister C Vijayabaskar and Samathuva Makkal Katchi founder R Sarathkumar, he claimed. Based on the complaint made by Income Tax department, the EC had on April 9 cancelled the by-election.The petitioner claimed that Madhusudhanan, Ganesh and Dhinakaran were also allegedly involved in such offences and wanted the EC to prohibit them from contesting the by-election scheduled on December 21.
CHENNAI: If the polling for the RK Nagar by-elections is held on Wednesday, TTV Dhinakaran would record the highest percentage of votes — 35.5 per cent — found People Studies, a multi-disciplinary research institute.
Releasing the survey to media persons, professor S Rajanayakam and his associates said that the survey found that the Dhinakaran's pressure cooker symbol has already become more popular among the voters than the other symbols — Two Leaves and Rising Sun.
While 91.6 per cent of the participants correctly identified the pressure cooker as the symbol of Dhinakaran, the Two Leaves and E Madhusudanan combine is known among 81.1 per cent of participants, found the study. Similarly, the Rising Sun and Maruthu Ganesh is known among 77.8 per cent of participants.
The survey gives second place to DMK candidate N Maruthu Ganesh and AIADMK candidate E Madhusudanan third place.
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.
After ascertaining again with list sent by ECI it was found by DMK that about 1,788 bogus voters still remain untouched.
Chennai: The Madras high court has reserved orders on a memo filed by the DMK party alleging that the Election Commission of India has not deleted 5,117 bogus voters from the voters list in R.K.Nagar assembly constituency.
Originally, on a petition filed by DMK Organisation secretary R.S. Bharathi to purify the voters list in R.K.Nagar, the First Bench headed by Chief Justice Indira Banerjee directed the ECI to conduct the bypoll to RK Nagar assembly constituency by December 31, after recording the submissions of ECI that the names of 45,819 voters had been deleted.
However, alleging that 5,117 bogus voters were yet to be deleted from the voters list, Senior Counsel P. Wilson, appearing for Bharathi had on December 6 made a mention before the First Bench to re-open the case and filed a memo to that effect.
When the case came up for hearing on Monday before a division bench comprising Justices T.S. Sivagnanam and K.Ravichandrabaabu, senior counsel Wilson submitted that the ECI was giving premium to illegality. When the ECI itself has acknowledged that 45,819 bogus voters were on the rolls and undertook to delete them before the court, they have actually not deleted the multiple and bogus voters.
After the rolls were uploaded in the website on November 23, it was found that about 5,117 bogus and multiple entries remain on the rolls and that a representation was given to the CEO. Thereafter, the ECI acknowledged 2,220 and 1947 multiple entries through a separate communication and undertook to include them in ASD list.
After ascertaining again with list sent by ECI it was found by DMK that about 1,788 bogus voters still remain untouched. Therefore, all bogus voters should be prevented from voting and a seal across their names should be put in the electoral roll and circulated to political parties so as to prevent these bogus voters from voting.
Niranjan Rajagopal, counsel for ECI submitted that 1,947 multiple entries exist in the uploaded list by ECI and the same will be placed in the ASD list. There were about 2,220 more multiple entries which will be kept in ASD list.
The high court has no power to interfere in the electoral process due to Article 329 (b) of the Constitution and that if any bogus voters cast their vote, the only remedy was to file an election petition and the high court has no power to interfere under Article 226 of the Constitution when once the election process was started.
The ECI has taken all appropriate steps to conduct the bypoll in a fair and transparent manner, he added. After hearing both sides, the bench reserved its order.
The election officials have also earmarked 19 locations for accommodating police personnel and paramilitary personnel.
Chennai: Public and builders planning to visit the corporation zone offices for building assessment and other trade licences would do well to wait until December 24 for revenue officials to return from RK Nagar poll duty. As part of its election work, the city corporation has, for the first time, posted all its revenue officials in Chennai to RK Nagar.
“Each assistant revenue official (ARO) has been given 15 polling booths to supervise. Earlier a team of licence surveyors and tax collectors, who are subordinates to AROs, were deployed for the purpose, but now seniors are deployed to ensure that a fool proof polling system is in place”, an ARO said.
One of the election officials said that a total of 300 EVMs have been kept in the strong room after verification by senior poll officials for the 256 polling booths.
For each control unit, 4 ballot units would be attached. In all, 1,200 ballot units are to be used and the role of ARO starts from supervising the polling stations and to ensure free fair and fair polls on December 21, the official said.
The EVMs would be checked and verified again in front of the poll observers and the functions of polling machines would be explained to representatives of candidates before transporting them to polling booths.
Meanwhile, the election department has finished training 1,800 staff, including presiding officers and booth level officers. “Nearly 3,000 officials are being employed in conducting the by-election”, the official said.
To ensure peaceful and fair election, the election department, apart from cameras and web screening in polling booths, has installed nearly 300 CCTV cameras in important junctions and streets, an all time high for an assembly constituency.
The election officials have also earmarked 19 locations for accommodating police personnel and paramilitary personnel. “Nearly 1,500 local police and 20 companies of paramilitary companies, each consisting of 80 to 100 personnel will be deployed in RK Nagar. The paramilitary forces started arriving in the constituency”, the official added.
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.
The demand for immediate disbursement of incentives rose again after officials were forced to work again in the RK Nagar by-election.
Chennai: Despite Tamil Nadu facing frequent polls over the past two years, Chennai corporation officials who did election duty are yet to get incentives and other payments. The demand for immediate disbursement of incentives rose again after officials were forced to work again in the RK Nagar by-election. A revenue official attached to Greater Chennai Corporation said that incentives for those who worked during the 2016 assembly election, is yet to be disbursed. “Payments for cancelled RK Nagar by-election is also pending,” the official said.
When the Election Commission engages in poll related work, it seeks the help of officials from local bodies. “We need manpower. We hire workers on temporary basis. They are waiting for their payment. We also spent from our pocket to conduct awareness campaigns and electoral roll purification work. Those reimbursements are also pending,” the official rued.
Election Department officials said that files regarding disbursement of incentives are being processed and the incentives would be given soon. “Officials who work during elections should keep proper invoices and vouchers to claim reimbursements. Some officials who do not have proper bills suffer as we are not able to provide payments,” a department official said.
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