After actor Dileep procured conditional bail on Tuesday, Pathanapuram MLA and AMMA Vice President KB Ganesh Kumar has come down heavily on the association's earlier decision to expel the actor.
Dileep, the 11th accused in the abduction and sexual assault of a prominent woman actor in the Malayalam film industry, was thrown out of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) soon after he was arrested in July.
Reacting to Dileep's return, Ganesh Kumar told TOI that there was no reason for AMMA to cancel the accused actor's primary membership.
Later in the earlier interview to TNM, he confirmed what he had said in an earlier interview.
Pointing fingers at actor Prithviraj, a friend of the survivor who was among the first to publicly come out in support of her, Ganesh Kumar alleged that Mammootty may have decided to expel Dileep under pressure from Prithviraj.
“They (Prithviraj) have vendetta against Dileep. So, maybe Mammootty took such a decision because of pressure from Prithviraj and to satisfy the media. Technically, one or two persons like the President or Secretary cannot expel an AMMA member. He was not expelled legally,” Ganesh claimed.
“The committee can only suspend Dileep but can’t expel him. There is a disciplinary committee and they will have to investigate the issue. Then it has to be analysed by another three member committee. Only then can a person can be expelled. In Dileep’s case, nothing like that happened,” Ganesh alleged.
Dileep had been expelled from AMMA on July 11, a day after he was arrested by the police. The association had convened an emergency meeting at superstar Mammootty's residence at Panampilly Nagar in Kochi, and had decided to cancel Dileep's membership. Mammootty and Mohanlal had announced the decision together.
At the time, AMMA had claimed that the decision had been made unanimously. While speaking to reporters before going into the meeting, actor Prithviraj had said that there were certain views he wanted to place before the association and that he'd speak about it to the media if AMMA refused to accept them.
Ganesh Kumar had chosen to skip the meeting.
Recalling Dileep's arrest and his subsequent expulsion from AMMA and other associations, the MLA said that none of the organisations had stood with Dileep when he was in trouble.
“If I were in his position, I would never return to the organisations. All the organisations avoided him when he was in trouble. None of them stood with him. He can act in movies and live without these organisations, my personal opinion is that he should avoid them,” he said.
He added that it is up to Dileep whether he must cooperate with the organisations hereafter.
“If we are members of a local club, people there would at least give blood when we are in hospital, but these organisations are not useful for even that,” he added. Ganesh Kumar reiterated that Dileep's expulsion was not legal.
“Dileep’s expulsion is not legal. I was among those who wrote the rules for AMMA. So I can assert confidently that he can’t be expelled,” he said.
Ganesh Kumar further pointed out that earlier, too, AMMA had expelled some members but that the decision was made by the disciplinary committee.
“I visited Dileep in jail because of my personal relationship with him, not as AMMA Vice President. An organisation cannot decide that someone is guilty before the court does so," he said.
Playing up the narrative that Dileep has been victimised, Ganesh Kumar said that it was "complete injustice" for the actor to be in judicial custody for so many days.
“When Madani (political activist) was in jail in Coimbatore, I was the first to speak up in support of him. I was a Minister then. All were scared to even utter his name. But I spoke for him. I said that it is not right to keep an elderly, disabled man in jail like that. So, I'm not afraid of saying this out loud - what happened to Dileep was injustice,” he claimed.