Amidst Hiccups, Polling for Nadigar Sangam Elections Underway

The voting to elect office bearers of South Indian Artistes Association (Nadigar Sangam) was held on 23 June.

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Hindi Female

The voting for electing the office bearers of the South Indian Artistes Association (Nadigar Sangam) was held on Sunday, 23 June 2019, at St Ebbas school on RK Salai, Chennai.

The polling saw most of the industry mark their attendance. However, biggies like Rajinikanth couldn’t make it as he was out of town.

The elections 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. The results, however, cannot be declared until further orders. The next hearing is scheduled for 8 July.

The Nadigar Sangam elections are quite crucial as the office bearers stand to gain considerable influence over Kollywood. Whether it is an issue regarding call-sheets, funding from producers, payment or fall-outs, it is the responsibility of the association to smooth things out.


The Two Main Factions

This election season the battle is between Vishal and his Pandavar Ani against veteran filmmaker-actor K Bhagyaraj-led Swami Sankaradas Ani.

Nassar is the incumbent president and Vishal the incumbent general secretary of the Nadigar Sangam.

Retired Justice E Padmanabhan will be the Election Commissioner for this election.

The key contest is between Vishal and Ishari Ganesh for the general secretary post. Bhagyaraj is contesting against Nasser for the president’s post, while Karthi and Prasanth are battling for the treasurer’s post.

A new team of a president, two vice-presidents, a general secretary, a treasurer and a 24-member executive committee will be formed after the results.


The List of Absentees

Many actors have raised the alarm, saying the elections are being conducted too hastily.

On Saturday evening, Rajinikanth tweeted saying he was in Mumbai for a shoot and despite his efforts to receive the postal vote earlier, he received it only at 6:45 pm that day.

Actor S VE Shekher took to Twitter to announce his decision to boycott the elections.

He accused the Nadigar Sangam of having a disorganised election process.

Actor Ramesh Khanna also alleged, “I wonder what the motive is behind holding elections today. Since the Registrar of Societies cancelled the elections on Thursday, many had left for shooting. It is difficult for them to come and vote.” The way postal ballots were sent to members has let loose lots of questions, he added, quoted News Today.

Actress Sangeetha, a candidate in Swami Sankaradas Ani, said, “It is unfortunate that elections are being conducted in such short notice. No proper information was sent to members. I really don’t know the motive behind this act,” said the media report.

Vishal however responded saying, “All were dispatched on time. We wonder why many have not received it yet.,” reported News Today.

Actress Khushbu, defended Vishal saying, ‘All arrangements have been made for smooth conduct of elections. I hope everyone comes and cast their vote,’ said the media report.


Hiccups, Complaints, Termination

Comprising 3,000 members, the Nadigar Sangam elections are held every three years, but the last they were held in 2015. The union was formed 67 years ago in 1952 by MG Ramachandran, NS Krishnan, and K Subrahmanyam.

There have been a number of issues in the last one year, accusing the present leaders of tampering with the electoral rolls.

Sixty-one members from the Nadigar Sangam had earlier filed a complaint against the Pandavar Ani alleging their names were removed from the voters’ list. This move was purposely done to tilt the results in Vishal’s favour. The Madras High Court had earlier ruled that the termination of the 61 members was completely valid, reported The Indian Express.

In response, Vishal had sent a letter to the court on 17 June stating that out of the 61 members, 44 of them are considered amateur artists, 4 of them have been terminated based on disciplinary action and the remaining 13 are actually eligible to vote, said the media report.

Construction of a new building in Chennai for the association has been one of the key issues this election. Vishal’s team has begun the construction work but many have alleged that there has been a lot of delay.

(With inputs from The Indian Express, News Today)

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Topics:  Tamil   Nadigar Sangam   Kollywood 

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