Nikhil Ellidiyappa? (which translates to “where are you Nikhil?” in Kannada) is one of the most celebrated phrases that marked the 2019 Lok Sabha elections on and off social media from Karnataka. This popular phrase had been used to troll Nikhil, son of chief minister Kumaraswamy.
The phrase was originally coined in 2016 by CM Kumaraswamy when he uttered “Nikhil ello kanthaella, ellidiyappa?,” (Nikhil, you can’t be seen, where are you?) during the launch of the music album for a movie titled ‘Jaguar’. The Kannada-Telugu bilingual film which marked Nikhil’s debut in Sandalwood interestingly was produced by Kumaraswamy himself.
Later on, this phrase was used by rivals to show that Nikhil was nowhere in the race for the Mandya parliamentary constituency, where he was facing a formidable opponent in Sumalatha.
Now, JD(S) leader and Mandya district in-charge minister C.S. Putturaju is the latest addition to the queue of filmmakers who wish to register films carrying the phrase as the title. Confirming this the minister shared his aspiration during a JD(S) workers’ meet in K.R Pet, in which Nikhil, also a Kannada actor, was present. The minister also suggested that Nikhil himself would star in his dream movie to which the Mandya candidate replied that the decision can be taken after the election results are declared on May 23. Puttaraju’s interest in the title is apparently to put an end to his party supremo (H.D. Deve Gowda)’s son and grandson being trolled.
It can be recalled that as more than five filmmakers had approached the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC) during April seeking permission to acquire the title for their upcoming projects. However, the KFCC is yet to approve the title for the film as they claim that they would approve it only after reviewing the storyline.
Interestingly, Puttaraju has found a strong competitor in film producer Ganesh as he continues to claim that he has registered the title already and Nikhil himself has promised to play the role. Nikhil, however, chooses not to comment on the same.
However, the movie if any would have to wait till May 23, the counting date to see whether Nikhil could be cast as the hero. Nikhil is facing a tough contest in Mandya parliamentary constituency, and it would all depend on the result of the contest.