Ahead of poll campaign launch, Haasan questions PM Modi on new Parliament building
Hours ahead of kicking off his election campaign, actor-and-politician Kamal Haasan on Sunday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to explain why a new Parliament is being built when people were starving after losing their livelihood due to the Covid-19 crisis.
“Thousands of people died during the construction of the Great Wall of China and rulers said that it was to protect people. When half of India is starving after losing their livelihood due to corona, whom will the 1000-crore construction of the parliament protect? Please respond, my honourable elected Prime Minister,” Haasan’s tweet in Tamil read.
PM Modi laid the foundation stone for a new Parliament House on Thursday, describing the event as a milestone in India’s democratic history and asserting that the building will become the symbol of a 21st century nation and Aatmanirbhar Bharat, or self-reliant India.
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The 64,500 square metre building, the showpiece of the ₹20,000 crore Central Vista project, is proposed to be constructed at an estimated cost of ₹971 crore. The earthquake resistant structure would involve 2,000 workers directly and another 9,000 indirectly.
Haasan’s party Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) launched its first phase of election campaign Sunday for the upcoming 2021 assembly polls in Tamil Nadu. His poll plank so far has been to fight corruption. MNM’s campaign will cover districts of Madurai, Theni, Dindigul, Virudhunagar. Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi and Kanniyakumari.
Launching his poll campaign in Madurai, Haasan said, “Our political strategy is honesty.” He added that when MNM comes to power, they will made Madurai the second capital of the state. Responding to reporters in Madurai if he will form an alliance with Rajinikanth, he said, “Alliances will break and alliances will be forged. I can only say this now.”
MNM members were recently in the capital to support the protesting farmers who want the three new farm bills repealed. Haasan, who launched the MNM in 2018 in Madurai, fought the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and got a 3.7% vote share.
The party is expecting to improve its performance in the assembly elections where it has positioned itself as a third force. The fledgling party will be fighting Dravidian rivals -- the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) --- and their national partners, the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party, respectively. Haasan’s former co-star and friend, Rajinikanth, will also be launching his political party to contest all 234 assembly constituencies.
Several former bureaucrats and social activists have joined hands with Haasan’s party. Earlier this month, ex-IAS officer, Santhosh Babu, who quit service in August, was appointed the party’s general secretary. Haasan is also the host of Big Boss Tamil-4, a platform which he often uses to convey his political thinking to the audience.