The bitterly fought elections to South Indian Artists Association (Nadigar Sangham) came to an end on Sunday with challengers dethroning the reigning office bearers headed by veteran superstar Sarath Kumar. Character artist and senior in the profession, Nasser ousted Sarath Kumar in a closely fought election by a margin of over 100 votes.
While Nasser secured 1238 votes, Sarath Kumar got 1231 votes in the elections, polling for which was held on Sunday. Similarly, for the key post of general secretary, actor Vishal (Nasser team) won against Radha Ravi, sitting office bearer of the association also by a margin of over 100 votes.
Campaigning for the association elections turned bitter with charges and counter charges made by the two sides -- one led by Sarath Kumar who completed three terms of three years each and the other by challenger, younger star, Vishal who, in turn, was supported by superstar Kamal Haasan, among others.
The main charge Vishal and character artist Nasser, who took on Sarath Kumar for the president’s post, made against the incumbent was one of inaction. They also levelled allegations of wrong doings in the running of the organisation as also some financial bungling in handling the properties of the association. Though Sarath Kumar rubbished the charges, there were some takers as it turned out and he was defeated by a margin of nearly 100 votes. Nasser secured 1334 votes, Sarath Kumar could manage only 1231 votes. The electorate comprised 3139 members in all.
After the defeat, Sarath Kumar accepted the defeat graciously and wished the new team well. “Now that the elections are over, we should work tougher for the betterment of the artists’ community,” he said addressing media persons.