Social media posts stir controversy for BJP and Left candidates in Thrissur LS seat

Kalamandalam Gopi
Kalamandalam Gopi

Thrissur (Kerala) | Two social media posts, one by the son of renowned Kathakali artist Kalamandalam Gopi and another by film star Tovino Thomas left the candidates of BJP and LDF in the Thrissur Lok Sabha seat in some kind of spot, on Monday.

In a purported Facebook post, Kalamandalam Gopi's son, Raghu Gurukripa, alleged BJP candidate Suresh Gopi tried to influence his father to garner support for him in the Lok Sabha polls, a charge denied by the saffron party leader.

In the other episode involving Thomas, Left candidate Sunil Kumar deleted a Facebook post on his meeting with the former, after the actor said he was an ambassador for Kerala for the Election Commission's Systematic Voter's Education and Electoral Participation programme (SVEEP). He gave a disclaimer against anyone using his photograph.

Gurukripa, in the post which was deleted after it went viral on social media, alleged that a famous doctor called his father and said that Suresh Gopi would come to his house seeking his blessings.

"When the doctor was informed that he could not do so, the doctor asked (Kalamandalam Gopi) if he wanted the Padma Bhushan," Gurukripa alleged in the post, screenshots of which were also circulated widely on social media.

He also alleged that many VIPs are trying to woo his father for Suresh Gopi.

Responding to the allegations, Suresh Gopi said Kalamandalam Gopi is like his guru, and he had not assigned anyone else to contact the Kathakali acharya.

He said it is the BJP which decides whom he should meet as part of the campaign.

"If the party says to meet Kalamandalam Gopi, I will meet him. I have no strategy. I come directly to the people," Gopi told reporters here.

Meanwhile, CPI(M) Politburo member M A Baby said an 'avatar' like Kalamandalam Gopi should not be underestimated.

In a Facebook post, he described the Kathakali maestro as unique among the greatest artists alive in the country today.

Referring to the BJP candidate, Baby said everything he does becomes 'antics' to make people laugh because he stands for communal politics.

Eighty seven-year-old Kalamandalam Gopi is renowned for his captivating and emotive portrayal of virtuous pachcha roles in Kathakali, with notable performances including Nalan and Karnan.

LDF candidate Sunil Kumar also faced some embarrassment over Thomas' social media post.

"My best wishes to all the Loksabha candidates. I wish to hereby convey that I’m the ambassador for Kerala for the Election Commission’s SVEEP (Systematic Voter’s Education and Electoral Participation) program, and so it is against the law to use my photo or a photo including me for any kind of election campaigning.

"In case somebody is using it, I wish to clarify that it is without my knowledge or consent. Wishing everyone a fair election experience", Thomas said in the post.

The Thrissur Lok Sabha constituency is witnessing a triangular contest between actor-politician Suresh Gopi, senior Congress leader and sitting MP from Vatakara, K Muraleedharan, representing the UDF, and former minister and CPI leader V S Sunil Kumar.

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