Popularity on the screen has only rarely translated into electoral success for celebrity candidates in Kerala, unlike in neighbouring Tamil Nadu

Popularity on the screen has only rarely translated into electoral success for celebrity candidates in Kerala, unlike in neighbouring Tamil Nadu

Popularity on the screen has only rarely translated into electoral success for celebrity candidates in Kerala, unlike in neighbouring Tamil Nadu. This perhaps explains the reluctance of even the reigning superstars to jump into politics, despite persuasions from all sides. In the past, Prem Nazir too did not contest, even though he joined the Congress party. One of the exceptions was filmmaker Ramu Kariat, who won as a left independent from Nattika in the 1965 assembly elections.

Also read: Kerala Assembly Elections | Infighting, factional feud, personality politics plague Congress, CPI(M) and BJP

Yet, in recent years, more film celebrities than in the past are ready to take the plunge. Actor Innocent won as a left independent in the Lok Sabha elections of 2019, while K.B. Ganesh Kumar MLA of LDF ally Kerala Congress (B) has since 2001 had multiple successes in elections and is contesting this time too. Sitting MLA Mukesh of the CPI(M) is also contesting for a second time. Suresh Gopi, who lost as the BJP candidate from Thrissur in the 2019 Lok Sabha election is rumoured to be in the fray this time as well.

Actor Dharmajan’s name has come up in seat discussions in the Congress, while actor Devan, who has contested elections unsuccessfully in the past, has merged his Kerala People’s Party with the NDA. Actor Sreenivasan and filmmaker Siddique have now become part of the advisory board of the ‘apolitical’ corporate outfit Twenty20.