Three candidates are in the fray for two posts of vice-president as a consensus remained elusive in the elections for Kerala actors’ body – Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA).
Even though superstar Mohanlal and Edavela Babu were elected without a contest to the post of president and general secretary, respectively, with time running out on Wednesday for withdrawal of nominations, popular actor Manianpilla Raju, and actresses Asha Sarath and Swetha Menon are fighting it out for two posts.
Elections will have to be held to select 11 executive committee members for which 13 have filed the nominations and the polls would be held alongside the annual general body meeting to be held at Kochi on December 19.
A leading star on condition of anonymity said that if things were laid down more clearly, an election could have been avoided.
“With AMMA having just around 500 members and everyone knowing one another quite well, those who end on the losing side will definitely feel hurt. I will say that both Mohanlal and Babu did not make a sincere effort to reach a consensus as I feel there was lack of transparency. But now with the die cast and campaigning beginning, we will wait for the results. Nevertheless all are hoping for the best and that things cool down and AMMA is able to move forward as one unit,” said the top actor.
Mohanlal wanted two women vice presidents and that was a strategic move to keep the recently-floated ‘Women in Cinema Collective’, an organisation for women working in the Malayalam film industry, quiet, but with senior actor Raju deciding to file his nomination for the post of vice-president, the plan of Mohanlal failed.
Raju is based in the state capital, while Asha is based out of the Middle East and Swetha in Mumbai, it would be practically difficult for the actresses to attend all the executive committee meetings and besides that Raju being a seasoned producer too, the speculation is, one of the two actresses might lose out and it could be a blow for Mohanlal.
The incumbent vice presidents are both legislators belonging to Kerala’s ruling Left Democratic Front – Mukesh and K.B. Ganesh Kumar.
When Mohanlal spoke about the need for giving the women members these posts, Kumar immediately agreed, while Mukesh was not that keen initially, but eventually he too agreed to withdraw.
Along with the 11-member executive committee, there are 13 candidates vying for the posts and Mohanlal and Nassar are the two who are from outside the panel floated by Mohanlal and here too, if all the 11 fielded by the superstar do not win, it would be seen as another setback for him.