Thiruvananthapuram | Days after the Kerala government announced the annual state awards for the year 2022, popular filmmaker Vinayan has levelled serious allegations against Chalachitra Academy Chairman Ranjith, accusing him of influencing the award committee.
In a series of recent Facebook posts, the "Rakshasa Rajavu" director alleged that Ranjith misused his power as Academy Chairman and tried to prevent his latest movie, "Pathonpatham Noottandu" from receiving major awards.
He also claimed though he had informed the authorities concerned about the Academy chairman's undue interference in the award jury's decisions, no action was taken.
By releasing a purported voice clip of Nemom Pushparaj, one of the jury members who allegedly confirmed the interference of Ranjith in the award selection process, Vinayan also challenged the chairman to refute the charges.
As a controversy has erupted in Kerala over the issue, Cultural Affairs Minister Saji Cheriyan on Tuesday rejected the allegation against the Academy Chairman and described Ranjith as a legend and gentleman.
When reporters asked about the controversy, he said Ranjith has no role in the award selection process, and the entire responsibility was entrusted to the award jury headed by Bengali filmmaker Gautam Ghosh.
He also lavished praise on Ranjith for the efficient functioning of the
Academy under his chairmanship.
"The allegations being raised now are baseless," the minister said.
Defending the award winners, Cheriyan also asked whether anyone could object to the best actor award given to superstar Mammootty.
Others who performed equally well were given other awards, and it was all decided after carefully evaluating their performances and talent, he added.
However, Vinayan, in a Facebook post on Tuesday, rejected the claims of the Cultural Affairs Minister and asked how he could give a clean chit to Ranjith on the issue without conducting a probe.
Ranjith is yet to react to the controversy.