Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan on Sunday refuted claims that his Makkal Needhi Maiam outfit was the Bharatiya Janata Party’s “B-team” in Tamil Nadu, saying attacks like these had increased as his party was growing in stature, PTI reported.
“I am not a B-team for anyone, this is Tamil Nadu’s A-team,” Haasan said at a party rally in Tirunelveli. His comments came a few days after the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam claimed that Haasan was accusing the party of corruption under pressure from the BJP.
Haasan, whose party will contest all 40 seats in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, criticised the “grand alliance” of Opposition parties. He claimed that members of the “mahagathbandhan” would switch over to the winning side if the results of the Lok Sabha elections so demanded.
However, only the Makkal Needhi Maiam would stand firm and not cede space to horse-trading, Haasan said. His party’s voice will be heard in such a situation, he added. During such times, a voice should be heard saying that at least the prime minister should be changed, Haasan said.
The MNM chief criticised the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government in the state, NDTV reported. “They shoot those who ask questions in the mouth,” he said, referring to the police shooting at Thoothukudi last year, in which 13 people protesting against Vedanta’s copper smelter had died.
Haasan sought donations to fight the Lok Sabha elections from the large crowd that had gathered at the event. “It will be an investment for the future,” he said.
Haasan also expressed confidence that the Makkal Needhi Maiam, launched in February last year, had evolved enough to take on the giants of Indian politics. “We are clean and honest, and we shall remain so,” he said. “Let’s uproot casteism and nurture equality together. Let’s teach this generation what democracy actually stands for.”