Nasser has been elected president, while Vishal and Karthi have been elected general secretary and treasurer respectively.
Amidst much drama and intense campaigning, the South Indian Film Artistes Association, also known as the Nadigar Sangam, conducted its elections on Sunday.
Nasser, part of the ‘Pandavar Ani’ with Vishal, Karthi, Karunas and Ponvannan, has been elected Nadigar Sangam president, with 1344 votes. Sarath Kumar polled 1231 votes.
Vishal has been elected Nadigar Sangam general secretary, with 1445 votes. His rival Radha Ravi polled 1138 votes. Karthi has been elected the treasurer, polling 1493 votes. Election official Justice E. Padmanabhan officially announced the results.
The elections are held once in three years, and during the last election in 2012, Sarath kumar was re-elected, unopposed for the third time.
As it happened:
11.27 pm: I accept this conclusion, says Sarath Kumar. “I don’t take it as a loss. It is a win for the democratic process. I extend all cooperation for the new team.”
11.20 pm: Karthi wins; elected as treasurer.
11.10 pm: Nasser elected president, defeating Sarath Kumar. Nasser polled 1344 votes, while Sarath Kumar polled 1231
10.50 pm: His rival Radha Ravi polled 1138 votes. Election official Justice E. Padmanabhan officially announced the results.
10.45 pm: Vishal has been elected Nadigar Sangam general secretary, with 1445 votes.
10.05 pm: After three rounds of counting, Vishal leads with 961 votes; Sarath Kumar 843; Nasser 746; Radha Ravi; 825
9.45 pm: Consolidated tally – Sarath Kumar 658; Nasser 491; Radha Ravi 662; Vishal 634
9.20 pm: Tally after first round of counting: Sarath Kumar 507; Nasser 301, Invalid 13
7 pm: Results expected in about two hours.
6.20 pm: As the counting proceeds, Sarath Kumar and Radha Ravi are sitting in the front row. Vishal and his team are sitting at the back.
5.15 pm: Ballot boxes have been sealed. The counting will start soon.
4.17 pm: Actor Vishal accuses Kicha Ramesh of attempting to manhandle him.
Here’s a selection of photos from the event: Click here to view more.
2.50 pm: For some actors, disappointment has been the overriding emotion of the day. Actor Sachu was denied voting. Read more
1.30 pm: “Vishal’s team members entered a restricted area inside the voting booth. They were questioned. They have blown this up into an issue,” says Sarathkumar.
1.05 pm: Actor Vishal says he will reveal who attacked him after 5 p.m. “Elections should continue,” he says.
12: 55 pm: Actor Goundamani was asked if he preferred Tamil Nadu Nadigar Sangam or Indian Nadigar Sangam, he said: “Nadigar Sangam nu irundha podhum.” (Just Nadigar Sangam is enough.)
12: 45 pm: Vishal is now being treated by a doctor inside the caravan.
12: 40 pm: Crowd gathers outside Vishal’s caravan. Nadigar Sangam members are calling for the arrest of those who attacked him.
12: 20 pm: Unconfirmed reports suggest there was a mild scuffle between actor Vishal and Sarath Kumar. Vishal just retired to his caravan.
12: 15 pm: Visuals from inside the polling booth suggest that there was a mild scuffle. The situation is under control now.
12: 10 pm: “Sarath Kumar and others have done many good things for the Nadigar Sangam but we think we can do better and take it forward, ” says actor Arya.
12: 00 pm: Actors Nasser and T. Rajendran support Rajinikanth’s call for renaming of the Sangam.
11: 30 am: According to sources, Team Vishal had put up banners and posters overnight in support of their candidates throughout Cathedral Road up until St. Ebbas school.
11: 15 am: Actor Sachu was earlier denied a vote. “Just because I have been denied a vote, I don’t cease to be an actress. I have been an actor since MGR days. I have renewed my membership until 2017 by paying Rs 5, 000 in 2007. Why am I being denied the right to vote?” she asks.
11: 00 am: 850 votes have been polled so far. Nadigar Sangam is a 3000-odd strong association.
10: 58 am: Actor Kamal Haasan says Nadigar Sangam must represent of all Indian actors, it must be renamed Indian Artistes Association. All actors must be allowed to become its members.
This could be construed as a comment on Rajinikanth’s statement that the name must be changed to Tamil Nadu Artistes Association.
10: 40 am: 240 members denied voting rights for not paying membership fee.
10: 30 am: “My friendship with Vishal has not been ruined because of the Nadigar Sangam elections. But my vote is for my father. Whoever wins the election must make sure they keep their promises,” says Varalaxmi Sarathkumar.
10: 10 am: Actor Sachu denied a vote.
9: 50 am: Actors should not be divided on the basis of caste, language or religion, says Sarathkumar.
9: 50 am: Actors Nasser, Pasupathi and S. Ve Shekhar after casting their vote.
9: 40 am: Top actors like Nayanthara and Samantha are expected to vote later in the day.
9: 30 am: “I feel sad that artistes from other states who have done hundreds of films have not been allowed to vote because they don’t have their ID cards. This issue must be resolved at the earliest,” says actor Ambika.
9: 25 am: Mansoor Ali Khan has been denied a vote as he was previously ejected from the Sangam’s membership. “But I won’t go to court for this,” he has said.
9: 20 am: Rajinikanth’s suggestion that the name of South Indian Artistes Association be changed into Tamil Nadu Artistes Association is sure to light a fire. Actors whose mother tongue is not Tamil but nevertheless are integral part of the film industry are likely to resist this attempt.
9: 12 am: While actors Rajini and Vijay have already cast their votes, actors Kamal, who openly backed actor Nasser and invited the ire of Sarath Kumar, Ajith Kumar and Suriya are yet to vote.
9: 10 am: Brisk voting on at St. Ebbas school in Mylapore. Heavy police presence. Sources say that at least 600 votes have been polled.