Kerala polls toss AMMA in Catch-22 situation

Thiruvananthapuram, March 8 (IANS) Malayalam movie artistes are currently caught in a ‘catch 22’ situation as two senior members of their Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) are most likely to take on each other in the upcoming stated assembly polls.

They are likely to contest from the Pathanapuram assembly constituency in Kerala’s Kollam district.

Sitting three-time legislator from Pathanapuram K.B. Ganesh Kumar has for all practical purpose been cleared by the Left Democratic Front DF to contest this time under its banner.

Ganesh Kumar from his first outing in 2001 was the candidate of the Congress-led United Democratic Front as his Kerala Congress (Pillai) party was an UDF ally till last year, when it moved over to the CPI-M-led LDF.

The Congress has now zeroed in on 60-year-old Jagdish, who has acted in more than 325 films. He told IANS that he has been asked to contest by the Congress leadership and he has agreed to it.

“A few from the industry have asked me if I am going to contest from Pathanapuram and I have said that’s what the Congress leadership has asked, which I have accepted also. Perhaps they are a bit amused on how things will materialise, especially among our association,” said Jagdish.

“Let us wait and see,” he added.

Jagdish also said that he is getting ready to launch an out and out political campaign and it would be just politics that will be the focus of his campaign.

Meanwhile, the draft list of the Congress candidates is now ready to be submitted to the party high command. Apart from Jagdish, the list contains another seasoned actor, Siddique, whose name figures in the Aroor constituency in Alappuzha district.

AMMA president Innocent is yet to speak out and he will soon be calling the meeting to discuss this issue. He knows if it was not properly handled, it could lead to unpleasant situations, as their clan is one where ego reigns supreme.

Innocent, the Left-supported Lok Sabha member from Chalakudy in Thrissur district, did not have any problem when he contested the polls in May 2014 as there was whole-hearted support from the AMMA and several rounds of campaign by the film fraternity were taken out.

The superstars in the industry, Mammootty and Mohanlal also have a problem as the former is the chairman of the CPI-M backed Kairali TV channel, while the latter is very close to the rival candidates.

Suresh Gopi, the third superstar, however, is not in much trouble as he has already established himself in the BJP camp. His name now and then surfaces in the BJP circles as one that the party might field in the polls.

“Most of our members have their own politics and an affinity towards one or the other political party and they are entitled to it. But when it comes to taking a position by AMMA, it could be a tough ask. Hope the upcoming meeting will be able to arrive at a fair position,” said an AMMA member, who did not wish to be identified.

All eyes are on the AMMA meeting as this is the first time it has to encounter such a situation.

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