Indian Express

Innocent, the Kerala comedian who beat veteran P C Chacko

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JPC chairman P C Chacko. ( Source: PTI/File) JPC chairman P C Chacko. ( Source: PTI/File)

The 16th Lok Sabha will have an ace film comedian from Kerala. Actor Innocent has emerged as giant killer of this election in Kerala after he trounced Congress spokesman and JPC chairman P C Chacko at Chalakkudy constituency.

A veteran of 500-odd movies, Innocent is known for his trademark witty mannerisms and speaking with comic accent unique to people of Thrissur, his home town. He is the first actor to get elected to the Lok Sabha from Kerala.

The 69-year-old was fielded as Left-backed independent in Chalakkudy, which has a history of electing Congress candidates. However, CPM had managed break that tradition, fielding Catholic candidates in the constituency (formerly Mukundapuram). By fielding Innocent, who is close to the church, CPM managed to secure the actor’s win against Chacko.

Before becoming a hit in film industry, Innocent had done sundry jobs, including running a match box unit in Karnataka. “I learnt Hindi during the stay in Karnataka. That would stand me in good stead in Delhi,” he said.

His candidature had raised eyebrows within the CPM itself as he was pitted against a seasoned Congressman like Chacko. Many did not believe that the crowd he had got during electioneering would get converted into votes. “My rival Chacko was a gentleman. I never underestimated him,” said Innocent.

He said the win was expected although political circles would term it otherwise. “I have got votes from all sections of people. For the past 35 years, I have been a household name. In recent years, women had seen me more time on TV than they had seen the faces of their husbands every day. Women and youth had my face in their mind when they queued up for voting. Besides, I have got every Left vote in the constituency,” he said.

On whether Parliament would witness comedy scenes, he said he would not miss any opportunity for lighter moments. “People want lighter moments,” said Innocent, who would continue to act in films.

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