New Delhi: Popular Malayalam actor Mohanlal met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the meting has set off rumours that the southern star might be joining the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of general elections next year.
Official version of the meeting was that it was to brief Modi about the social work the Malayalam actor’s organisation is carrying out. But that hasn’t stopped the so-called political observers from speculating.
Yesterday, I had a wonderful meeting with @Mohanlal Ji. His humility is endearing. His wide range of social service initiatives are commendable and extremely inspiring. pic.twitter.com/f3Dv3owHUV— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 4, 2018
It is well known that BJP in Kerala is in dire need of a popular and charismatic leader. It is also well known that the BJP central leadership is quite unhappy with the current crop of state leaders and their activities. The party had managed to win just one seat in the last assembly elections but it has seen little progress from there.
One thing that the party needs in the state is to have personalities with popular base who can influence at least the majority communities. Though the BJP has made some inroads in Kerala along communal lines, it is still to get the wider appeal that any significant party needs before striking roots in the state.
There have also been many speculations and reports about Mohanlal’s supposed closeness to BJP ideology. His reluctance to join the leftist bandwagon – almost a norm for the state’s intellectuals and artists – has only fueled this speculation. Even the name of the foundation he has started – ViswaSanthi – was suggested to be evidence of this ideological affiliation. Finally Mohanlal was forced to come out with the explanation that the name is nothing but an anagram of the names of his father and mother – Vishwanathan and Shanthakumari.
Felt privileged to have your good self listen to and appreciate my social initiatives. Our gratitude for being with the Govt. of Kerala in these testing times, and for the assurance of sustained support in rebuilding Kerala. Pranaams. Respect https://t.co/CANbxkKCff— Mohanlal (@Mohanlal) September 4, 2018
BJP state leadership, however, has reportedly rubbished the reports of the actor joining the party.
The social media posts of the actor and the PM failed to show any political angle for the visit.
The prime minister said it was wonderful meeting the actor Monday.
“His humility is endearing. His wide range of social service initiatives are commendable and extremely inspiring,” Modi tweeted Tuesday.
Sharing details of his meeting with the prime minister, the actor said on his Facebook page that he briefed him about ViswaSanthi Foundation and its multi-faceted social initiatives.
“He has assured all support and offered to participate in the ‘global Malayalee round table’ that can formulate futuristic solutions for a new Kerala,” he wrote.
He said the Prime Minister’s Office also appreciated the organisation’s vision to set up a cancer care centre to cater to the needs of the under-privileged.