Actors opt out of contests in Kerala

Trivandrum - The saffron party has also been persuading action hero Suresh Gopi to contest the poll in Trivandrum district.

By T K Devasia

Published: Sat 26 Mar 2016, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Sun 27 Mar 2016, 9:22 AM

The move by political parties to push film personalities into electoral contests in Kerala has suffered another setback with actor Kollam Thulasi refusing Bharatiya Janata Party's offer to contest the election in Quilon district in the forthcoming assembly elections.
Veteran actress KPAC Lalitha had earlier backed out of her decision to contest the poll on the Communist Party of India (Marxist) ticket from Vadakkancherry in Palghat district. Both cited health reasons for their decision.
The saffron party has also been persuading action hero Suresh Gopi to contest the poll in Trivandrum district. However, the actor has so far not shown any inclination to enter the fray. Sources close to the actor said that he was eying a seat in the Lok Sabha.
The BJP, which is yet to win any seat in the assembly and Lok Sabha, has been looking for candidates from outside the party fold as it is said to be facing shortage of winnable candidates. The party has so far got only two film personalities to contest the poll.
They are director Rajasenan and actor Bheeman Raghu. Both have given their consent to enter the fray. While Rajasenan is likely to be fielded at Nedumangad in Trivandrum district, Raghu may enter the fray at Pathanapuram, sitting seat of actor-turned politician K B Ganesh Kumar. BJP has also approached former Indian speedster Sreeshanth. However, the actor has not confirmed his availability so far. Reports said that the cricketer has expressed his desire to talk to Prime Minister Narendra Modi before taking a decision.
All political parties have been wooing film stars as they are expecting strong triangular contests in several constituencies with the BJP emerging as a third force. This is the first time Kerala is going to witness such triangular contests.
The BJP, which has been contesting elections without allies in the past, was taken seriously by the two traditional rivals led by the CPM and Congress, after the party has cobbled together a third front with the help of caste and community organisations and some small parties. The BJP's poll understanding with the Bharath Dharma Jana Sena, a political out of the Ezhava community, had helped the party to increase its vote share in the local body elections in November to 14 per cent. Both the traditional rivals are still not clear how this will affect them.
Therefore, the CPM and the Congress are trying to field as many candidates as possible from outside their fold. While the Congress has already roped in two actors Siddique and Jagdessh, the CPM could get only one so far.
The party has asked KPAC Lalitha to reconsider her decision to opt out of contest. There have been open protests against her candidature from party men at Vadakkancherry. The party has sorted out the problems with the dissidents in order to make it easy for the actress.

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