"Meanwhile, losing candidate Chacko sportingly termed Innocent's victory as a colourful one."
Chalakudy (Kerala) May 16 - He may have made millions laugh with his antics on the silver screen, but Friday it was Innocent's turn to himself put on a smile.
The actor-turned-political giant killer, who contested as a Left-backed Independent from the Chalakudy constituency in Kerala, beat Congress strongman P.C. Chacko by 13,884 votes, making it one of the biggest surprises in Kerala's election history.
The 69-year-old filmstar is also the president of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes.
In a career spanning four decades, Innocent has acted in more than 500 films.
Eyebrows were first raised and many were wonderstruck when the Communist Party of India-Marxist decided to field and back him as an Independent for the 2014 Lok Sabha election.
But Innocent's campaign turned for the better when crowds started coming in large numbers to see him and more importantly to hear him crack jokes.
This public curiosity later fuelled a serious following, which paid Innocent dividends in the electronic voting machines.
On the other hand, the Congress was not low on morale having fielded Chacko, who had managed to swap his traditional seat of Thrissur with his party colleague K. Dhanapalan, who last time won from here.
But so confident was Innocent that even after a leading national TV channel in an exit poll predicted the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) would win 18 seats and the Left a mere two seats, the actor boldly proclaimed at a public meeting that one of the two seats which would go the Left would be Chalakudy.
Unfortunately, the opinion poll did not hold true. The LDF went on to win eight seats and the UDF won 12.
Dressed in a trademark jubba, a kurta-like attire, Innocent mostly stayed indoors keeping track of the counting process. But when victory was obvious, he modestly told reporters: I owe this victory to the CPI-M and to the people.
The CPI-M is a strong outfit and all of them worked for me, so did others. Moreover, I think I could strike an instant attachment with the people because all of them have seen me in films. Now, I will work for the betterment of all the people and do my best, he said.
After the result was announced, he offered prayers at his father's grave.
Meanwhile, losing candidate Chacko sportingly termed Innocent's victory as a colourful one.
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