Mohanlal suffered a setback at the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) elections where his handpicked candidates for the post of vice-president (Asha Sarath) and two of the 11 executive committee members (Nivin Pauly and Honey Rose) lost to their opponents.
The results were announced late on Sunday evening. Mohanlal had been elected AMMA president unopposed and so were Edavela Babu, Siddiq and Jayasurya for the posts of general secretary, treasurer and joint secretary, respectively.
Manianpillai Raju defeated Asha Sarath for the office of vice-president, and Lal and Vijaya Babu bested Mohanlal’s candidates for the two of the 11-member executive committee. A majority of the 503 AMMA members had turned up to cast their votes.
Elections for the office-bearers were held after a long hiatus in the association. Generally, they are appointed on the basis of a consensus among AMMA members.
The superstar’s efforts to push his candidates had come during muted criticism from some AMMA members who have started resisting what they describe as the “hegemony of the big guns”.
An AMMA member, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the real winner on Sunday night was democracy. “It is quite natural for the big guns (Mammootty, Mohanlal and Dileep) to see that their hegemony is maintained, but despite their best efforts, they could not prevent members from turning to the ballot.”
The member said the “big guns” had been unsettled by the strong stand taken by Raju, that come what may, he would contest the elections. And then came Lal and the “die was cast”.
“Even though Mohanlal and all others at the customary press meet on Sunday evening put up a smiling face, it was not that feathers had not been ruffled,” the member said, adding that he hoped “the big guns” would allow AMMA “to go forward smoothly”.