Suresh Gopi Image Credit: Supplied

Thiruvananthapuram: The controversy over film superstar and Rajya Sabha MP Suresh Gopi asking a sub-inspector of Kerala Police to salute him, took a new turn on Thursday when Youth Congress workers at Palakkad staged a protest.

Armed with sandals, a group of Youth Congress workers delivered his hugely popular dialogue in the film ‘Commissioner’, where he as a police officer takes on the wife of a politician, and asked why he (Suresh Gopi) should be given a salute.

The protesters held a sandal in their right hand and saluted, while the dialogue from the film was delivered.

But Gopi, who met the media on Thursday, said the salute should never be based on politics.

“The Kerala Police Association need not play politics as it’s one which is set up to look after their welfare only. If they claim that a police officer need not salute an MP, then I wish to get a copy of that circular to it from the State police chief,” said an angry Gopi.

The controversy surfaced on Wednesday when he was on a visit to Trissur.

When the issue was picked up by TV channels, Gopi told the media that he asked the sub-inspector to salute.

“I had reached the area for a visit and I saw this SI of Police sitting in his jeep, and he also saw me, but he remained seated. It was then that I very politely went and told him that I am an MP and I can be given a salute and this is what happened,” he said.

The Kerala Police Association said they were not pleased with the way a salute was sought.

Gopi was nominated to the Upper House in April 2016 and in between, contested two elections - the 2019 Lok Sabha election from Thrissur and the recent 2021 Assembly polls, from the Trissur Assembly constituency - on a BJP ticket, but lost both times.