A day after political speculation started doing the rounds that actor Mohanlal was being wooed by the RSS to contest on a BJP ticket in the Lok Sabha polls scheduled for 2019, the actor has rubbished the rumours.
"I'm doing my job and acting in my films scheduled. I've no idea about political offers about contesting election. I don't want to respond to baseless gossips," Mohanlal told Malayala Manorama.
According to various reports, the RSS wanted Mohanlal to contest from the Thiruvananthapuram seat. When asked for his reaction, sitting Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said that he respected and liked Mohanlal the actor, but that if the actor was to enter politics, he would be measured using new yardsticks. The politician was in conversation with Faye D'Souza of Mirror Now at the Times Conclave in Thiruvananthapuram.
The speculation started after Mohanlal met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday. The actor tweeted that he'd met the PM and had briefed him about ViswaSanthi Foundation, an NGO founded by him. Mohanlal also said that Modi had promised to participate in the Global Malayalee Round Table that can "forumulate futuristic solutions for a New Kerala".
He further added that the PM had been appreciative of the NGO's idea of setting up a cancer care centre for underprivileged people. The PM, too, tweeted about the meeting, commending Mohanlal for his "humility" and "wide range of social service initiatives".
It has been a privilege to meet our Honourable Prime Minister Shri. @narendramodi ji on this auspicious day of Janmashtami. Briefed him about @ViswaSanthiFndn and our multifaceted social initiatives. pic.twitter.com/Bj70R1g8nAâ€” Mohanlal (@Mohanlal) September 3, 2018
He has assured all support and offered to participate in the Global Malayalee Round table that can formulate futuristic solutions for a New Kerala. Hon. PMO India has also appreciated our vision to set up a Cancer Care Centre to cater to the needs of the under-privileged. pic.twitter.com/3icdyqZlguâ€” Mohanlal (@Mohanlal) September 3, 2018
Yesterday, I had a wonderful meeting with @Mohanlal Ji. His humility is endearing. His wide range of social service initiatives are commendable and extremely inspiring. pic.twitter.com/f3Dv3owHUVâ€” Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 4, 2018
An RSS source told TNM that he did not know if any such talks had happened between the actor and the organisation, but that the RSS would be happy if Mohanlal wanted to contest on a BJP ticket.
BJP state president PS Sreedharan Pillai also told TNM that he was not aware of any such developments. "So far no discussion has been held in such a direction," he said. When asked about the implication of Mohanlal's meeting with the PM, Pillai said that the PM was very liberal about meeting people.
"He had also met actor Suresh Gopi, right?" he asked. However, Suresh Gopi was later made Rajya Sabha MP of the BJP. When this was pointed out, Pillai laughed it off.
According to the ViswaSanthi organisation's website, the NGO was set up in 2017 and aims to address education and healthcare issues among the underprivileged in Kerala. The website lists a few activities undertaken by the NGO so far, including handing over computers to a school in Poojapura, and providing financial grant for Madhavji Smrithi Mandapam, an educational institution "preserving and disseminating the Tanthra Sastras through a 7 year course resulting in Dual Degrees in Tantra Ratnam and MA Sanskrit".