K Velusamy, who was the Returning Officer of the RK Nagar assembly seat, has been replaced by Praveen P Nair.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.