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Controversy over Mukesh call takes a political turn

PALAKKAD: Actor-MLA M Mukesh’s telephonic reply to an Ottappalam schoolboy has taken a political turn as the boy was taken to the local CPI(M) office after Congress MP V.K. Sreekandan visited him on Monday.

There was nothing wrong with Mr. Mukesh’s behavior, according to the boy. CPI (M) has offered to buy a smartphone for the boy’s friend for whom he called the actor.

Last week, the boy from Ottappalam, Meetna, called Mr. Mukesh six times when the actor was attending an online meeting. The actor was irritated by the boy’s persistent buzzes, and the actor shouted that his friend ought to be slapped for making him call. When the boy claimed that he did not know the name of Ottapalam MLA, Mr. Mukesh scolded him further, saying that he should be caned for his ignorance.

The boy recorded the conversation and shared it with his friend. Social media soon became abuzz with a large section blasting the actor for his ‘callous, irresponsible behavior with a schoolboy’. Mukesh claimed that the boy had been used by others on political grounds in order to tarnish him and to trap him.

The boy was later identified as the son of a CPI(M) worker from Ottappalam. ‘I have no problem with the actor. Neither do I have any complaints. Anyone would have reacted angrily after being pestered so many times,’ the boy told media persons on Monday. In order to get his friend a smartphone, he had contacted Mr. Mukesh, who is the MLA of Kollam. He said he recorded the conversation so he could share it with his friend.

Leaders of the CPI(M) of Ottapalam said it was a non-issue and that it was settled because the boy himself admitted he had provoked the actor with his repeated calls. M. Hamza, former MLA of Ottappalam, said that the party would buy the boy’s friend a smartphone.

In the meantime, V.K. Sreekandan, MP of Palakkad, visited the boy’s house and pooh-poohed Mr. Mukesh’s allegation. ‘Mr. Mukesh says it’s a political trap meant to tarnish him. The boy is from a CPI(M) family. His father is a CITU worker. The boy is a leader of the Balasangham, the children’s wing of the CPI(M). The allegation raised by Mr. Mukesh is utterly baseless and with mala fide intent,’ said Mr. Sreekandan.

The Ottapalam wing of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) had earlier offered to procure a smartphone for the boy. ‘Such callous behavior is unbecoming of a people’s representative,’ said T.A. Tahir, SDPI Ottappalam unit president.


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