A running feud between office-bearers of the Tamil Film Producers Council led by president Vishal and dissidents led by director Bharathi Raja and others has come out in the open with the rebels locking down the council’s office in T. Nagar in Chennai, leading to police intervention.
The office was locked by dissidents on Wednesday and when Vishal tried to force his way into the office on Thursday by breaking open the lock, he was prevented by the police, leading to heated arguments. He was taken into custody to avoid a showdown and put up in a marriage hall while registrar general of cooperative societies defused the situation by opening the office.
Vishal said that he lodged a complaint with the Pondy Bazar police about the lockout of the office and instead of acting on his complaint, the police prevented him from entering the office. He asked a senior police officer how they could allow “unauthorised persons” to take control of the office when” there are important documents in it”.
The dissidents met Information Minister Kadambur Raju to seek Government intervention. The Minister promptly told reporters that the Government would not be involved in the dispute.
In the memorandum, they have demanded the resignation of Vishal on the ground that he is taking decisions unilaterally. They have also alleged financial mismanagement.
They have said he has not called the annual general council since his election March last year. According to the council’s bylaws, the meeting should be held by Sept 30 every year and the last one held in December 2017 was abandoned half way through, they have alleged..
The immediate cause for the showdown is an Ilayaraja concert Vishal has planned for next February to raise funds to keep his promise of allotting lands to artistes in distress. Dissidents like leading producer A L Alagappan have said Vishal has taken the decision to arrange the concert without the consent of the council.
The current standoff is a move by dissidents to form a front ahead of the next election of office-bearers due by March next year.