“Yesterday, I had a wonderful meeting with @Mohanlal Ji. His humility is endearing. His wide range of social service initiatives is commendable and extremely inspiring”. Tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi after meeting the Malayalam superstar known for his endearing behaviour and humble demeanour. That was also a clearance by Modi to RSS which has been working overtime in the past few months, to persuade Mohanlal to join the Bharatiya Janata Party and to put him up in Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha constituency.
Prime Minister’s endorsement of Mohanlal came when he met him on Monday. Lal met the PM to invite him for a function being organized by his Vishwashanthi Foundation in Wayanad. The Foundation, set up in the name of his parents, father Vishwanathan Nair and mother Shantakumari, is planning to take up many social service organizations and hospital projects.
After the meeting Mohanlal too tweeted: He has assured all support and offered to participate in the Global Malayali Round Table that can formulate futuristic solutions for a New Kerala. Hon PMO has also appreciated our vision to set up a Cancer Care Centre to cater to the needs of the under-privileged.
However Mohanlal has not shown any interest to enter the arena of murky politics. He is in fact keen on social activities, work for the betterment of the society and upliftment of the aam aadmi. As of now he is not keen on politics but wants to seek the cooperation of all political forces to build up a non-political social movement.
He is keen on building good relations with all and did call on Kerala chief minister, Pinarayi Vijayan before he left for treatment in US and released a photo of his meeting with the CM. He also tweeted: Get well soon Honourable Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan sir.
Incidentally Mohanlal does keep excellent relations with other political leaders too and so far has not shown any inclination to identify himself with any political party.
But RSS, which is planning the strategy of the BJP in Kerala for 2019 elections, wants to change all that and win over Mohanlal and wants him to be their candidate of Thiruvananthapuram. The party has sizeable support in the constituency. Mohanlal can be a good candidate to take on Shashi Tharoor, who has served the constituency rather admirably.
Yet the calculation is that Mohanlal will have an edge over Tharoor, particularly due to the controversies chasing the sitting MP. Castewise, it is balanced both being Nairs. There is no better candidate for the party as Kummanam Rajashekharan has moved out and is the Governor of Meghalaya, considered the best face till recently. But even Kummanam could not have carried the party in the constituency riven with internecine factionalism.
Mohanlal, Nagpur bosses feel, can carry the saffron crowd together and can attract votes of other communities and caste groups as he is non controversial and has an enviable reputation and unblemished record. His unchallenged record in the field of acting has a large following, cutting across party, caste and communal lines.
Meanwhile the RSS strategists have been closely in touch with the actor and he has been cooperating with the Vishwashanthi Foundation. The Foundation is working closely with the Parivar controlled Seva Bharathi in the flood relief and rehabilitation work. The Foundation is also planning to hold a Global Malayali Round Table shortly in Delhi.
It is a fact that Parivar needs Mohanlal more than Mohanlal’s need for the saffron crowd. For in Kerala the saffron party has no mass leader and the groupism within has adversely affected the image of the party. Originally it was expected that the entry of Suresh Gopi will provide a mass leader, but things did not turn out the way anticipated. Controversies like car registration outside the state and party leaders not extending full support to Gopi were the main reasons. Of late even Suresh Gopi some partymen feel, was disappointed with the factionalism.
Be that as it may, the present situation is that it is for Mohanlal to take a final decision. No one expects any opposition to Mohanlal’s entry into the BJP from within. In fact it could be a major scoop for the party, particularly in the Lok Sabha campaign. To be or not to be is a decision of the superstar. As of now there is no indication that RSS efforts will succeed.