Mohanlal as candidate: BJP non-committal

Over the past couple of years, Mohanlal’s positions on policies, including demonetisation, have steadily fed speculation on his political affiliation.

Mohanlal for the BJP from Thiruvananthapuram – the idea has spiced up poll-season talk in the past.

On Tuesday, after DH reported from New Delhi that the actor was being pursued by the RSS to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha election from the state capital, state BJP leaders remained non-committal on the long-discussed possibility.

The context, however, is pegged to more recent developments  —  flood relief activities taken up by his Viswasanthi Foundation, followed by his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday.

The RSS is reported to have sidelined the BJP state leadership in pitching Mohanlal as a possible candidate in Thiruvananthapuram.

BJP state president P S Sreedharan Pillai said he was not aware of discussions regarding the actor’s candidacy but "welcomed" him if he decided to join the party.

“The BJP has kept its doors open. If he decides to join, he can. But the bottom line is that the decision has to be made by him," Pillai told DH

Congress’ Shashi Tharoor represents Thiruvananthapuram in the Lok Sabha.

Sources close to the Sangh in Kerala contended that the Viswasanthi Foundation’s work in the flood-affected areas was only an extension of the actor’s commitment to “social causes” but refused to attribute political ambition.

“The foundation did work closely with the (Sangh-affiliated) Rashtriya Seva Bharti during the floods, in areas like Wayanad. But the arrangement was more about sourcing manpower; there was no politics,” a source told DH.

Over the past couple of years, Mohanlal’s positions on policies, including demonetisation, have steadily fed speculation on his political affiliation.

Some of his blog posts have also been viewed by critics as backing the ideas of nationalism as endorsed by the present dispensation at the Centre.

In a state where the BJP is yet to emerge as a credible political force, news about the actor's possible alliance with the party was, on expected lines, greeted with a lot of political heat on social media.

On the actor’s official Facebook page, many "cautioned" him against the move and others who claimed to be "fans" expressed disappointment.

The actor has not responded. On Tuesday, as social media went into overdrive with the report, he shared on his Facebook page the prime minister’s post on their meeting.

 

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Mohanlal as candidate: BJP non-committal

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