Salem/Chennai: Ticking off actor-politician Kamal Haasan for “showing off” as a leader despite lacking knowledge of basic politics and public contact, Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Tuesday said the political innings of the Makkal Needhi Maiam chief would also end in a fiasco just as in the case of late thespian Sivaji Ganesan.
A day after slamming superstar Rajinikanth for stating, just as Kamal has now done, that there was leadership vacuum in TN politics (after the demise of Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi), CM Palaniswami said the MNM leader had launched into politics as his movie innings had dried up as he had turned old. He had earlier hit out at Rajinikanth saying he was only an actor and not a political leader. The vacuum comment came only from actors and not any political leader, he said.
The CM said Kamal was “a big leader” but then why didn't his MNM contest the recent bypolls to Vikravandi and Nanguneri Assembly constituencies? Also, what were the votes polled by the MNM in the recent Lok Sabha polls, he asked and pointed out that the AIADMK won the bypolls to the two seats while the MNM could not win any seats in the Lok Sabha polls and came third in a number of urban and semi-urban constituencies.
The CM said Kamal was now 65 and since there were no suitable opportunities in the film field, he had launched a political party. True, anyone in a democracy has the right to launch a party, he said. Hitting out at the MNM chief for finding fault with his government, he wanted to know “where he had been all these years.”
On the other hand, he said leaders like him had worked for about 45 years in the party, staged several agitations and went to jail on public issues. He and the others in the AIADMK had risen to their present stature only after working for the people and fulfilling their needs through several welfare schemes and thereby winning their support. But then, what good work has Kamal done for the people, except acting in movies and making money, the CM asked.
He said Sivaji Ganesan failed to impress in politics though he was next only to MGR in stature in Tamil filmdom.
Kamal too will meet the same fate as Sivaji. “A greater actor, respectable Sivaji Ganesan, you know what happened after he contested elections, he (Kamal) will also meet a similar fate,” he said.
Sivaji Ganesan had quit the Congress party to launch his own party in 1988 and eventually quit politics after suffering a rout in 1989 Assembly elections and he himself lost in the Thiruvaiyaru constituency. Since Kamal has grown old, he has made this arrangement of floating a party, he said.
“I feel, he has come to a conclusion that it will be enough even if his partymen watched his films in theatres. He has gone to such a stage and that is why he has launched a party,” he said.
“What has Kamal done for the people... what does he know about politics? Does he know how many village panchayats, town panchayats, municipalities and corporations are there in Tamil Nadu and what are the issues faced by the people here?” the CM asked. “He is being projected as a leader though he does not have an understanding of rudimentary aspects of governance,” he said.
Responding to the CM's diatribe against his leader, MNM functionary and former IAS officer Rangarajan said the political leaders are spewing fury at Kamal “only out of fear”. The MNM chief “knows only honest politics, whereas the only expertise that his political detractors have “is in corruption”, he said, insisting that TN people looking for a positive change, which the MNM would deliver.
Kamal is acting in Indian 2 and is likely to soon take up Thalaivan Irukindran (There is a leader), while Rajinikanth has completed his Darbar. And, of course, there is also the much-younger Vijay, who is making strong political statements in his movies, and at his cinema functions....