The BJP is keeping alive the proposal to give superstar Mohanlal the party ticket for the ensuing Lok Sabha election, despite his fans coming out openly against his entry into electoral politics and no official word from the actor.
Talks about Mohanlal contesting from Thiruvanthapuram have been doing the rounds for quite some time and got a further push after he was conferred with the Padmabhushan, a top civilian honour.
The RSS is said to be keen on fielding Mohanlal from Thiruvanthapuram, now held by Congress leader Sasi Tharoor who eyes a hat-trick. The RSS feels the party can make it from Thiruvanthapuram if it rides on Mohanlal’s popularity. For this, the RSS, according to reports, is said to have begun a survey to get public feedback.
It already has had the backing of a section of leaders. The party's lone legislator O Rajagopal had recently said it was considering Mohanalal for the Thiruvananthapuram seat.
The factors for this, according to Rajagopal, were that Mohanlal was popular and had taken stances which the party saw as favourable to it. He admitted that the party was 'encouraging’ the superstar to take the electoral plunge, but also confirmed that no reply had been received. His silence was being construed as his inclination.
The recent Padma award, coupled with his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi has lent support to such a move.
But the fans association opposition on grounds that Mohanlal was a 'national asset’ and should not be branded as representing any one group have disturbed the BJP. Fans association leader Vimal Kumar, during a recent TV channel debate, had threatened of violent protests if the superstar decided to take the electoral plunge.
The RSS group believes that Thiruvanthapuram with a good share of Hindu voters, could be swayed in the backdrop of the Sabarimala protests which helped in consolidation of some sort.
In case the attempt to persuade Mohanlal fails, the RSS would pitch in for bringing back Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan or go for K Surendran, the BJP leader who had to go to jail for the Sabarimala protests. This is despite a section in the BJP leadership being accused of not lending him due support when he faced a volley of charges over the Sabarimala protest.
Another factor that the BJP sees in its favour is that the LDF has set aside the seat to CPI which is said to be struggling to identify a capable candidate to take on Tharoor and the BJP.
In the 2014 election it faced the charge of putting up a 'paid candidate’. BJP's O Rajagopal was able to bring down Tharoor's margin to 15,000 from as high as over 1 lakh in 2009.