News Malayalam

Mammootty-Ganesh Kumar fight over AMMA presidency

While actor Mammootty, who is himself not keen on the post, wants to play the kingmaker, Ganesh Kumar is adamant about taking charge.


The tussle between Kerala superstar Mammootty and actor-turned-legislator KB Ganesh Kumar over control of the powerful Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) is now out in the open, with the former seemingly not keen on allowing the latter to helm the organization.

While Mammootty, who is himself not keen on the post, wants to play the kingmaker, Ganesh Kumar is adamant about taking charge.

52-year-old Ganesh, a former minister and four-time legislator, is the son of political veteran R Balakrishna Pillai, whose Kerala Congress (B), after parting ways with the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF), is awaiting the green signal to join the ruling CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF).

Ganesh has had two stints as minister — both with the UDF, in 2001, but he stepped down in favour of his father after a while, and then in 2011, when he had to quit as domestic issues surfaced, which eventually led to a divorce.

Ever since the arrest the 85 days' incarceration of actor Dileep last year in a case relating to the kidnapping of an actress, AMMA, which is currently led by popular comedian and Left-supported Lok Sabha member Innocent, has gone into a shell. Dileep was suspended from AMMA soon after his arrest, a move that was criticized by Ganesh.

AMMA has not been able to convene a meeting of its office-bearers. And, a new generation of stars led by Prithviraj have put their foot down after Innocent, propped up by Mammootty and his fellow superstar Mohanlal and other seniors, wished to revoke Dileep's suspension.

Having headed the AMMA for over a decade now, Innocent has of late been feeling that he was losing clout in the organization. Hence, has announced he will not be seeking a fresh term as the chief.

Following this, Ganesh, who is an executive member, decided to throw his hat in the ring. It was then that Mammootty decided to play his cards to ensure that the actor-turned-politician's desire did not see fruition.

A senior actor told IANS, a news agency, on condition of anonymity that the two have never shared good relations since Ganesh became a minister in the AK Antony cabinet in 2001.

"It is the fat big egos that reign supreme in our industry, and with Mammootty — the numero uno of our industry and a CPI(M) favourite — the tiff intensified after Ganesh felt that it was the superstar who stands between him and a cabinet post (if and when Ganesh joins the ruling CPI(M))," said the actor.

With the old guard in AMMA, except Mammootty, supporting Ganesh, and the new guard not keen on him, one will have to wait till July when AMMA selects a new president at its annual general meeting to find out who will emerge victorious in this tussle.