Malayalam actor and BJP politician Suresh Gopi said on Thursday that he would assume the post of President of the Kolkata-based Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute (SRFTI) and Chairman of its governing council as they were not offices of profit.
Gopi, who has been nurturing ambitions to contest on a BJP ticket from Kerala's Thrissur Lok Sabha constituency in the next general elections, announced the decision after he got an assurance from Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur that he would continue to enjoy all the liberties of a politician even after assuming charge of the institute.
In a social media post, the former Rajya Sabha MP thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and I&B Minister Thakur for nominating him for the posts.
"Had the first call for the invitation and confirmation on the Chairmanship of the Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute, Kolkata. I'm taking over charge with the assurance of the Minister that it is 100% not an office of profit and not at all a salaried job and that I will still continue to carry all the liberties of a politician that I am in every front," Gopi wrote on his Facebook page.
He said he would take charge as the "Chairman as per instructions on the date and time suggested" by the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry.
"Wish me all the best, pray for me so that I add glitter to the name of the world-renowned Shakespeare of Indian films in the creative aspect," the actor-turned politician said.
Speaking about issues in Kerala, Gopi said he would hold a protest march on Gandhi Jayanthi Day in Thrissur, seeking justice for people affected by the financial fraud in the state's cooperative sector. "(The) Gandhi Jayanthi rally favouring the financially inflicted people of the State of Kerala will not be hindered and I will go along with the protest march," he wrote on the FB page.
Gopi, a National Award-winning actor known for films such as 'Kaliyattam', 'Manichitrathazhu', 'Commissioner', and 'Ekalavyan', was nominated as president of SRFTI and chairman of its governing council on September 21. Earlier, the BJP in Kerala had rejected media reports about the actor-politician's alleged displeasure about his appointment by the Centre as the president of SRFTI. Criticising reports that appeared in some Malayalam TV news channels in this regard, party state president K Surendran asked whether the media had no obligation to check facts before giving the news.