Kerala going TN way: Film personalities in the fray in assembly polls
Article144.png”” alt=””Article144.png”” />A new trend has heralded in Kerala with film stars and directors crossing swords in the Assembly elections to be held on May 16. Unlike voters in the rest of Southern region, Kerala has been politically conservative in letting film stars contest elections.However, ace Malayalam comedian Innocent Vareed Thekkethala’s victory in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Chalakudy constitutency, has made the political parties to field film stars in the coming elections. That perhaps explains the one-off electoral win of someone from Malayalam film industry.Ace film-maker Ramu Kariat, who directed the path-breaking move Chemmeen, was elected to the Assembly in 1964 from Nattika constitutency in Thrissur district as an independent backed by the Communist Party till the Lok Sabha elections in 2014 when Innocent became an MP.
Even yesteryear super star Prem Nazir, an ambivalent Congress supporter, dithered over entering electoral fray. A headcount of the aspirants and probables from Malayalam film fraternity for the Assembly elections on May 16 shows that Innocent’s win was a watershed moment. Innocent trounced Congress veteran P C Chacko in Chalakudy in 2014 general elections. Kerala gave a thumbs-down to film-maker Lenin Rajendran who tested the electoral waters twice from the Ottapalam Lok Sabha constituency in the early 1990s. All three major parties in the polls–Congress, CPI (M) and BJP– have roped in a handful of matinee idols to woo the voters. Among the Left probables is actor Mukesh from Kollam, a known CPI (M) fellow traveller, though the party toyed with the idea of fielding KPAC Lalitha, another know Left sympathiser, from Vadakkanchery assembly constituency, but the veteran actress backed off citing health issues in the wake of a vociferous protest. While CPI (M) will support actor-turned politician and Kerala Congress (B) leader K B Ganesh Kumar, who snapped ties with the ruling UDF, in Pathanapuram, Congress has roped in noted character-artist and comedian Jagadish to take on him in the constituency. As BJP has fielded actor Bheeman Reghu against them, Pathanapuram is expected to witness a triangular ‘star war’.
Another star contestant Mukesh, a permanent presence in slap stick films and known for films like ‘Ramjirao Speaking’, will be contesting from Kollam assembly constituency on a CPI (M) ticket. CPI (M) chose Mukesh in the key constituency with the belief that his multi-faceted personality as a writer, TV host and producer besides actor, could easily strike a chord with the people. Film directors A Rajasenan and Ali Akbar would be trying their luck from Aruvikkara and Koduvally assembly constituencies respectively. The names of actor Siddhiq and Ashokan had also been under active consideration of different parties. The list of actors who may plunge into the electoral battle is slowly growing, Sreenivasan, Nedumudi Venu are the likely candidates.
Is Kerala showing new signs this time around? Will the coastal State also turning into Tamil Nadu style of politics where actors, directors and film writers are at the helm of affairs of the State. Keep a close watch over Kerala’s electoral scene over the next fortnight.”