Kochi, Aug 28; Malayalam comedian Jagathy Sreekumar Saturday vowed not to endorse lottery tickets, a day after Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan urged celebrities to look into the merit of products promoted by them.
Speaking to reporters here, Jagathy, a veteran comedian who has acted in more than a thousand Malayalam films, said that he has decided to follow the advice of chief minister.
“I do get good money for endorsing lottery tickets of governments like Sikkim and Bhutan but after realizing that I am misleading many in Kerala, I have decided that henceforth I will not endorse lottery tickets,” said Jagathy.
Achuthanandan Friday urged the media to expose the menace of lottery industry which was leading to outflow of crores of rupees from the state every month.
The chief minister said that the popularity earned by film stars through their acting is being used for undesirable trends.
“I never realized till the chief minister said that I am playing a part in misleading people, and now that I have realized it, I will not endorse lottery tickets again,” he said.
“I will be looking at other products that I endorse and if I feel that I am not doing a good thing, I will end my association with it,” added Jagathy.
For the past one month, the ruling Left government and the opposition Congress have been engaged in a war of words over the lottery mafia.
According to Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac, the central government was helping the lottery mafia by restricting powers of the state government to control it.
Leader of Opposition Oommen Chandy has asked Achuthanandan to institute an investigation into the activities of the lottery mafia.
“There has been a serious lapse on the part of Issac leading to a thriving lottery mafia. The lottery trade is worth at least Rs.40 crore a day,” said Chandy.
Chandy alleged that Issac was trying to protect himself by putting the blame on the central.