With consensus eluding the election of two key office-bearers of AMMA, the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes, and superstar Mohanlal actively entering the campaign, the run-up to the vote has seen some hectic lobbying — and criticism of the acclaimed actor.
Mohanlal has been elected president unopposed, so have Edavela Babu, Siddiq and Jayasurya, as general secretary, treasurer and joint secretary, respectively, but because of an absence of consensus, three candidates, including two actresses, are in the fray for two posts of vice-president.
Hugely popular actor Manianpilla Raju and actresses Asha Sarath and Swetha Menon are fighting it out for the two posts. Mohanlal is backing the two actresses.
Fourteen candidates are also running for the 11-member executive committee, and three of them — Lal, Nasser Lathif and Vijay Babu — are not a part of Mohanlal’s panel.
As many as 500 AMMA members will now cast their vote on Sunday and at the end of the annual general body meeting in Kochi, the votes will be counted and only then will it be known if Mohanlal or Raju will be the real winner.
A top actor on condition of anonymity said many in the industry are shocked to see Mohanlal coming up to campaign for those in the fray. The superstar has circulated a letter soliciting the support of the AMMA members for his panel.
Raju is said to be upset because, according to him, he had informed all concerned that he intended to contest and even got the green signal of those who matter. He is reported to be feeling let down by Mohanlal, who’s been his good friend since their days in school together.
Nonetheless, Raju is campaigning with all earnestness. With contests now appearing to be inevitable, many members are said to be feeling that the bonhomie among AMMA members “will now go out of the window,” to quote the actor who did not wish to be identified.