Sivakasi (Tamil Nadu): On his campaign trail, Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) chief Kamal Haasan invoked Tuesday the welfare legacy of iconic leader late MG Ramachandran. Kamal Haasan said the former chief minister belonged to the whole of Tamil Nadu. Refraining from naming the AIADMK, he said the party was annoyed after he highlighted MGR in his recent address to a gathering. He said the AIADMK claimed that the leader belonged only to them. The late leader, however, belonged to the whole of Tamil Nadu and not just to a party, Haasan said addressing a MNM event here.
It was the reason why the people adored him as ‘Makkal Thilagam’ (leader of the people). They did so notwithstanding his party affiliation, be it the DMK or later, the AIADMK which he founded, Haasan noted.
All the people in the state would say MGR belonged to them. When this was the case, if the ruling party wanted to get him labelled as the leader of only one party, then the public shall give their verdict against such a stand. Such a flawed stand would not work in favour of that party, asserted Haasan.
Haasan tweeted saying he grew up ‘on the lap of MGR’ while several Tamil Nadu Ministers would not have even seen him personally. He tagged a 1980’s video clip of MGR honouring him with a shawl and award and kissing him. The video appeared to be recorded at a film function.
Superstar Rajinikanth and the BJP have also clung to MGR’s legacy of welfare that had drawn the ire of AIADMK. The party has repeatedly said it was the only successor to his legacy.
MGR is popular and loved by people for several welfare measures during his tenure from 1977 to 1987. Among them were the nutritious meal programme for state-run and government aided school students.
Without naming any parties, Haasan said Tamil Nadu would give a fitting reply to those who thought of wrecking India’s pluralistic ethos through caste or religion. Tamil Nadu always had a distinctive feature and it shall give its verdict against such divisive tendencies, he said.
Haasan, taking a dig at the BJP, said the party could not even keep the national capital clean which prompted Congress leader Sonia Gandhi to go on a sojourn recently to Goa. Also, he reiterated his earlier promises of honest, corruption free government.