CPM bid to quell row over boy's 'pesky calls' to actor-legislator Mukesh

Kollam/Palakkad: Actor-legislator M Mukesh's claim that a political conspiracy is behind the frequent phone calls to him has fallen flat as a boy who troubled him the other day by dialling half-a-dozen times within a short span time was found be a member of the Balasangham, the children's wing of the CPM, and his parents too were identified as supporters of the politician's party.

In the audio clip of the phone conversation that has gone viral, Mukesh, who is the Kollam MLA, can be heard scolding the student who called him to seek help to buy a smartphone for his friend.

The student hails from Meetna at Ottapalam in Palakkad.

Reacting to the row, Mukesh, the two-time CPM legislator, had said children were being made to phone him with a political motive.

How the caller was identified
As a controversy erupted over Mukesh's rude response, his party intervened. CPM functionaries in Ottapalam brought the teenager before the media on Monday.

Talks were held with the student and his father for nearly half-an-hour at the Ottapalam divisional office of CITU headload workers union at Palappuram on Monday morning. And then the student was brought before the media.
(CITU is the trade union wing of the CPM.)
The child's father, a traditional medical practitioner, himself is an office-bearer of the Ayurveda workers union affiliated to the CITU.

With the discovery about the political loyalties of the student and his parents, the MLA's office has said that a complaint would not be filed over the phone calls.

CPM district committee member M Hamza, who is also the CITU district secretary, said that the party will resolve the row amicably and that a mobile phone would be given as sought by the student.

Ottappalam MLA K Premkumar also said that assistance would be provided for students who do not have facilities to study.

The student's version
The student claimed that he had dialled Mukesh after he saw a message on the school's WhatsApp group that several of his schoolmates did not have phones to carry out online studies. A friend had given him the actor-politician's phone number. He made the phone call as he liked the actor and also because he had heard that mobile phones were being gifted to needy students. He also said that he recorded the phone call as Mukesh was a popular movie actor. And when a friend asked him for the voice clip, he sent it, leading to its dissemination online and the attendant row.

The student further stated that though he knew that Premkumar is the Ottapalam MLA, he could not recollect when Mukesh asked about him during the call.

"No need for any complaint over this. I have no issues," the boy said.

Complaint over cyberattack
Meanwhile, Mukesh MLA's office has said that a police complaint will be lodged against those who carried out a cyberattack over the incident. The MLA had also given a complaint stating that some calls were made to certain institutions, claiming to be from the MLA's office.

The Iravipuram police said that a probe was under way into the complaint.

Congress leader V T Balram mocked in a Facebook post that the CPM had initially tried to make it appear as if the student is a relative of his colleague Shafi Parambil who is the Palakkad MLA.

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