Chennai: Actor Vishal Krishna, whose nomination papers to contest in the December 21, 2017 by-election to the Radhakrishnan Nagar assembly constituency were rejected, prayed to the Almighty to save India.
In his tweet on Thursday, Vishal, as he is popularly known, said: "Still awaiting Democracy to lift its head up again..."
"God save my beloved country from this anarchy!!"
Shuddering in disbelief and disgust, the intrepid actor who has now decided to take a headlong plunge into politics says: "What we are witnessing is the systematic and effectual death of democracy in our country. Every democratic norm is being reduced to a mockery."
Vishal, it must be recalled, had stood up to support his friend superstar Vijay when the latter's film "Mersal" was attacked by certain sections of the Bharatiya Janata Party supporters.
"That is when I decided more of us from the entertainment industry need to jump into the cesspool rather than making noises about the filth from the sidelines," says Vishal, probably referring to Kamal Haasan who after his hefty hullabaloo over political corruption in Tamil Nadu has taken a "thoughtful break" from his initiation into politicization.
"We can't afford to pull back and wait for change in the political system. We have to be the change. That's why I decided to contest the bypoll from Radhakrishnan Nagar where there is neither a councillor nor a ward since the last elections.
"The civic infrastructure stinks. If we don't take charge of the politics at the municipal level how can we even begin the process of cleaning up the political mess in Tamil Nadu?" wonders Vishal.
On Wednesday, he met Chief Electoral Officer of Tamil Nadu Rajesh Lakhoni and submitted a petition to review his nomination papers filed for the by-election.
But the Returning Officer rejected Vishal's nomination papers, saying the signatures of two proposers were forged.
"An entire soap opera was played out on Tuesday. First my papers were rejected on the absurd ground that two of the signatures were forged. I thought this was the height of absurdity. But then it got even more ludicrous. I was told it's okay and that my nomination has been accepted, then again I was told my nomination was rejected," the actor said.
Vishal says the seesaw between yes and no would have been highly flattering if it was not so scary. "The fact that I am seen as such a threat to the status quo is very flattering. However, the seeming attempts to sabotage my tentative foray into active politics also indicates a subversion of all democratic norms. And that's frightening," he added.
Vishal also tweeted to President Ramnath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday and brought his plight to their notice.
In his tweet, the actor said: "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."
He also tweeted: "5th Dec 2016, Amma died, 5th Dec, 2017, Democracy died... RIPDemocracy."
In Tamil Nadu, late Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa is referred to as Amma.
The actor said he was also consulting legal experts.
According to Vishal, the Returning Officer would get up from his seat and go out to speak to somebody on the phone.
He said the rejection of his nomination was pre-planned and the two proposers (Sumathi and Deepan) were threatened.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission has said a total of 59 candidates were finally left in the fray for the by-election.
A total of 145 persons had filed their nomination papers, of that 72 nominations have been accepted and 73 rejected. Later, 13 candidates withdrew from the electoral race.
The major contest will be between the ruling AIADMK (E. Madhusudhanan), DMK (N. Marudhu Ganesh) and the sidelined AIADMK leader T.T.V. Dinakaran, now contesting as an Independent candidate.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has fielded K. Nagarajan as its candidate.
The Radhakrishnan Nagar seat fell vacant following the death of J Jayalalithaa on December 5, 2016.