Tamil actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan on Wednesday raked up the language debate while criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, reported The Times of India. The Makkal Needhi Maiam founder said that Tamil people will not be convinced by Modi’s “sudden love” for the language.
“Won’t we understand the reason behind this sudden love, especially after the announcement of the elections?” said Haasan as he addressed his first public meeting after the announcement of the poll dates in the state and released his party’s manifesto. “They think if they speak two lines in Tamil, we’ll all go and vote for them. Tamils are not for sale, their votes are also not for sale.”
Elections to the 234-seat Tamil Nadu Assembly will be held in a single phase on April 6. Counting of votes for all the poll-bound states – Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Assam and Kerala – along with the Union Territory of Puducherry will take place on May 2. Voting will take place in several phases in the other states between March 27 and April 29.
Tamil Nadu is likely to witness a direct contest between the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, which has allied with the Bharatiya Janata Party and a few other smaller parties, and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam-Congress combine. Haasan, who is pitching himself as the leader of the third front, urged people to give a mandate to his party.
The MNM released a seven-point manifesto for women, youth and sports development. “There will be 50% reservation for women in the uniform sector,” said Haasan. “Hostels will be made available in every district for free emergency overnight stay for women in distress.” His party has also promised to set up banks that will be run by women and for women. The party manifesto also promised jobs to 50 lakh youth and monetisation of households. “Guaranteed jobs within 100 square KMS from your pin code. Don’t seek work, work will seek you,” reads the party’s agenda, according to The Indian Express.
Haasan has tied up with actor-politician Sarath Kumar’s All India Samathuva Makkal Katchi for the upcoming Assembly elections. Earlier, he had said that he was ready to compromise for “good causes”. Haasan had also indicated that parties were welcome to join and that he would announce the alliance soon.
“Many parties are holding discussions and some like the AISMK shook hands,” he told reporters in Chennai, according to The News Minute. “We will decide on an alliance first before talks on seat-sharing.”