Suresh Gopi’s ‘salute’ controversy rages as Cong stages protests

The controversy that surfaced after superstar and Rajya Sabha member Suresh Gopi on Wednesday said he politely asked a Sub Inspector of the Kerala Police to salute him as he is an MP, on Thursday took a different turn when Youth Congress workers at Palakkad staged a protest against him.

Armed with chappals, a group of Youth Congress workers chanting his hugely popular film dialogue in the film ‘Commissioner’, where he as a police officer takes on the wife of a politician in the film, asked why should you (Suresh Gopi) be given a salute.

The protesters were holding a chappal in their right hand and was seen saluting, when the chanting of the film dialogue was going on.

But Gopi who met the media on Thursday said what he does not like is that the salute should never be based on politics.

“The Kerala Police Association need not play politics as it’s one which is set up to look after their welfare only. If they claim that a police officer need not salute an MP, then I wish to get a copy of that circular to it from the State police chief,” said an angry Gopi.

The controversy surfaced on Wednesday when he was on a visit to Trissur.

When the issue was picked up by the TV channels, Gopi told the media that he asked the SI to salute.

“I had reached the area for a visit and I saw this SI of Police sitting in his jeep, and he also saw me, but he remained seated. It was then I very politely went and told him that I am an MP and I can be given a salute and this is what happened,” he said.

As the Kerala Police Association said they are not very pleased with the way a salute was asked.

Gopi was nominated to the Upper House in April 2016 and in between, contested two elections — the 2019 Lok Sabha election from Thrissur and the recent 2021 Assembly polls, from the Trissur Assembly constituency – on a BJP ticket, but had to bite the dust both times.