'I am now Comrade Innocent'

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Actor-politician Innocent firmly believes that he has great leadership qualities and that is what helped him to lead the actors' association, AMMA, for 18 long years.

Innocent became the first actor from Kerala to be a Lok Sabha member after winning from the Chalakudy seat in 2014. He had contested as an Independent candidate backed by the CPM and this year too he is in the fray. He credits his AMMA stint for testing his leadership mettle.

Speaking at a convention in the Chalakudy Lok Sabha constituency the other day, Innocent recalled a funny incident that happened while he was part of AMMA's executive team. Innocent after all knows how to make his stand clear with his wit.

“Once I told the members of AMMA that I am going to quit as its president and Mohanlal will take over. I also told them, 'If someone steals even a rupee from AMMA, that person will be struck by cancer.’ The next day actress Kavya Madhavan called me on the phone and asked, ‘Uncle, will we get the disease if we were a member of the executive committee?’ I replied that if one misuses the money of AMMA, one would be catch the disease. That's how I led the members to another set of executive team,” recalled Innocent.

Innocent, who was at his comic best, said some people saw him as a step son when he contested the elections on a different symbol last time. He added that he felt extremely happy when his name is prefixed with 'comrade'. “Now I am not simply Innocent; it is Comrade Innocent. When I contested last time, 'Pot' was my symbol. I used to imagine when would the ‘sickle, star and the hammer’ come to me. This time I am contesting the elections on the party’s symbol,” Innocent remarked. 

It was in 2017 that Innocent stepped down as the president of AMMA. Mohanlal has succeeded him, while Mukesh and Ganesh Kumar are the vice- Presidents. Idavela Babu, who was earlier the secretary of the fim artistes' organisation, has replaced Mammootty as the general secretary. Actor Siddique is the new secretary and Jagadish the treasurer.

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