Chennai: The hotly contested RK Nagar bypoll just got a celluloid twist with actor Vishal throwing his hat in the ring and how!
With the election set to be conducted on December 21, Vishal has started with the leg work by conducting review meetings with representatives of the prestigious seat that fell vacant after late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s demise.
The actor, who wishes to be seen as a people’s politician than one with big political ambitions, said, “I want to be the voice of RK Nagar. I want to be the representative of the people and I’m not going to be a full time politician. I have no long-term plan. It is just a gut feeling and I want to contest the election.”
Vishal said he draws inspiration from Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and late President, APJ Abdul Kalam.
He added, “I look up to these two people. I haven’t met Arvind Kejriwal but he is a people's leader. I’m not going to be a politician and will remain a commoner.”
The actor made the surprise announcement on Saturday. Besides opposition DMK, ruling AIADMK's E Madhusudhanan and the party's sidelined leader TTV Dinakaran are contesting for the prestigious seat.
Speaking to News18 exclusively, the actor said, “They have not addressed issues that have being going on for many years. For instance, poor hygiene in toilets in government schools, poor treatment in government hospitals, people not getting pension, issues with the ration shops. Moreover, these problems are not just in RK Nagar, but also in other constituencies as well. We will address these issues immediately and not wait for the bypoll result.”
Vishal is also likely to visit the Kamraj statue, MGR’s residence and Jayalalithaa memorial, before filing the nominations.
While superstars Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth have only hinted at their political jump so far, Vishal has already decided to take that leap and is about to contest as an Independent candidate.
Vishal, for whom elections are a first, said he is overwhelmed with the support he received from the film industry after the announcement.
He said, “I haven’t approached anyone but if they are like-minded people and they wish to support me, they are invited. I’m so happy that actors Kushboo, Prakash Raj and Arya have offered their support. Wishes are pouring in. I haven’t heard from Kamal Sir yet, but once I file the nomination papers, I’ll call him.”