“I had gone to seek membership to the Rahul Club," Mukesh says

LDF MLA Mukesh cannot joke his way out of complaints on his absence by mocking Rahul Gandhi
news Saturday, June 25, 2016 - 14:21

Congress activists in Kollam have taken an unusual route to complain about the absence of LDF MLA and actor Mukesh from his constituency, filing a missing persons complaint at the Kollam West Police Station.

“Has anybody seen Mukesh MLA?” asked Vishnu Pandalam, President of the Kollam Youth Congress in his complaint filed on Thursday.

“The complaint is the result of genuine concern over the disappearance of MLA Mukesh. It has been brought to our notice that he remains to be unavailable for people who want to approach him with various grievances,” Vishnu was quoted as saying by the media.

While the complaint is being seen as a prank even by the police who received it, the complainant claims that it is not a shallow, knee-jerk reaction. As evidence of Mukesh’s conspicuous absence from the constituency, Vishnu pointed out that while ministers and others visited the Kollam Collectorate after a low-intensity explosion occurred there last week, the MLA did not turn up.

He also stated that Mukesh even failed to attend a public event attended by the Chief Minister.

Even as the police dismissed the complaint, Mukesh responded with much sarcasm.

“I had gone to seek membership to the Rahul Club, but I am told that I need to abscond for at least four months to be eligible to join the Rahul Club,” Mukesh said.

Mukesh also stated that he was at the party office in Anandavalleeshwaram on the day the complaint was filed. Stating that he is also an actor, he added that he had been absent from his constituency for five days only, and not for a long period like a year, for the Youth Congress to cry foul. 

The CPI(M) has also filed a counter-complaint with the commissioner, against the police officers who accepted the missing person complaint. 

On Saturday, Vishnu Pandalam reacted to Mukesh’s response on Facebook by saying that an MLA is expected to interact with people and not merely make his presence felt through TV shows. 

While the police complaint may have been dismissed as a stunt, MLAs and MPs cannot often take complaints of being missing from their constituencies lightly. Most recently, when violence in Mathura resulted in the death of 22 people, including two high-ranking policemen, actor and BJP MP Hema Malini was criticised for tweeting pictures of herself on a film shoot on the Madh Islands near Mumbai, while her constituency experienced a violent crisis.

Similarly in 2014, questions were raised about cricketer Sachin Tendulkar’s and actor Rekha’s attendance in the Rajya Sabha, with lyricist and fellow RS-member Javed Akhtar saying, “Membership is not a trophy that he (Sachin) took it and went. He has a responsibility and should come."

Earlier in 2013, posters claiming that Sundarlal Mandarawal, MLA of Pauri in Uttarakhand had gone missing and asking for his whereabouts were plastered all over the constituency, indicating the electorate’s frustration with the inaccessible and absent MLA.