The process of NDA candidate and New Justice party founder AC Shanmugam’s filing of nominations for the poll bound Vellore parliamentary constituency was delayed on Thursday when the returning officer and Collector A Shanmugasundaram insisted on the presence of four persons as per rule.
Collector Shanmugasundaram, who accepted the nomination then told those present – excepting the four accompanying the candidate – to leave.
Minister Veeramani then requested those present to leave the room. When others left, Vijay remained resulting in the alliance party members looking at each other and Veeramani gently told Vijay to move out. But, he refused to budge and changed places among the group. Veeramani finally said, “then you stay, I will leave.” A nonplussed Vijay, who did not expect this, then trooped out and sat on a nearby bench sulking.
The returning officer then accepted Shanmugam’s nomination while a peeved Vijay outside was heard complaining to a person close to ACS on why he was not allowed to be inside. On hearing of the commotion, a senior party functionary said, “Vijay’s behaviour cannot be condoned because he is a former MLA who should know the rules.”
Meanwhile on the first day of nomination a total eight persons, including Shanmugam have filed their nominations for the Lok Sabha polls. Ministers, including Nilofer Khafeel (Labour), Sevoor S Ramachandran (HR & CE) and P Thangamani (power) who were expected were delayed due to the Assembly session, party sources revealed.
While Shanmugam filed two nominations, another was filed by his wife ACS Lalitha Lakshmi. Incidentally, Thursday happened to be their marriage anniversary too.
Other independents who filed nominations included MR Venketesan, Agni Ramachandran, Dr K Padmarajan, T Ramesh and the reverse walking candidate Manithan.