Chennai: Facing flak from some farmers' leaders for meeting Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy over the Cauvery issue, actor-turned politician Kamal Hassan on Wednesday defended his initiative saying there was no restriction to work for a noble cause.
Speaking to reporters after meeting leaders of some farmers' associations in Chennai, the founder of Makkal Needhi Maiyam (MNM) urged farmers of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to talk it out to keep "other politicians" at bay.
"People are raising questions on my importance. I would say there is no restriction to work for a noble cause. To which political outfit did freedom fighter Mahatma Gandhi belong? He used to be at the forefront to fight any issue," Hassan said.
On Monday, Hassan had met Kumaraswamy in Bengaluru and discussed the Cauvery issue and pitched for talks to resolve the issue, saying courts were never a solution to the problem of sharing of the inter-state river.
Some farmers' leaders on Tuesday criticised Hassan for advocating talks, saying why he should now pitch for dialogue with Karnataka when the Cauvery Management Authority has been set up after the decades-long legal battle.
However, a group of representatives of some farmers’ organisations which met Hassan on Wednesday welcomed his initiative.
They presented him a sword and a pick-axe as a token of appreciation of his efforts on the issue, they said.
"We are open to anyone who comes to the rescue of farmers. The meeting with the (Karnataka) Chief Minister should not be politicised," president of National-South Indian Rivers Linking Farmers Association P Ayyakkannu said.
President of Federation of Farmers' Association P K Deivasigamani and representatives of some other farmers' bodies were present during the meeting with Hassan.
On the opposition to Rajinikanth-starrer 'Kaala' in Karnataka, Hassan said there were many people in the neighbouring state waiting for the release of the movie, which is set to hit screens on Thursday worldwide.
The MNM leader had on Monday said the film row did not figure during his talks with Kumaraswamy....