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Kamal Haasan to unveil ‘governance model’ with focus on farmers on February 21

The actor-turned-politician blamed successive governments in Tamil Nadu for the state’s existing farm crisis

india Updated: Feb 15, 2018 13:57 IST
KV Lakshmana
KV Lakshmana
Hindustan Times, Chennai
Kamal Haasan,Farm crisis,Farmer suicides
Tamil actor Kamal Haasan to unveil a “governance model” on February 21 in Madurai. (PTI File Photo )

Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan said on Wednesday he will soon unveil a “governance model” that will give special attention to farmers, and hit out at successive governments in Tamil Nadu for the existing farm crisis in the state.

In his column, published by a Tamil magazine, Ananda Vikatan, Haasan said the present as well as past governments had neglected farmers over the years and ensured the death of traditional farming practices, with their indifferences.

To fight against such indifferences, the superstar said, he was starting his political journey from Ramanathapuram on February 21 with a rally in the evening in Madurai, where he would unveil his governance plans.

Tamil Nadu reported a 29% year-on-year drop in overall crop sowing till February 2017, according to an agriculture ministry report. Thirty farmers have committed suicide across the state in 2016-17, the state government told the Supreme Court in an affidavit last year.

Instead of motivating farmers, the agriculture department, which works only on paper, makes plans that help no one, Haasan said, adding the agricultural engineering department has turned into a scrap yard.

“If there is any development work being carried out like building toilets or libraries in villages, it is just for the sake of tenders,” he alleged, adding the current status of these buildings and their dilapidated existence is a proof of the government’s intentions as also competence.

“My journey towards making villages prosperous has begun,” said the 63-year-old actor, who is in the process of forming a new political party.

He is expected to announce name of his party and its guiding principles this month.

He had earlier announced that he would adopt a village and turn it into a model village that can be replicated elsewhere in the state and beyond.

Haasan alleged that the incumbent AIADMK government headed by Edapaddi Palaniswami, as well as all the previous state governments, did not develop rural infrastructures, which led to migration of people from villages.

He would soon come out with a “workable solution” to the problem with the help of investors from different parts of the world, the actor claimed.

“Indian entrepreneurs in the US are ready to invest their expertise in TN villages,” Haasan said referring to his current visit to the United States, where he addressed students and the NRI community.

“What is needed is blending of traditional knowledge, technology with the modern ones to sustain rural development and to transform villages into heaven,” Haasan said.

He said his visit to the US was aimed at seeking help from the people of Indian origin to transform the rural Tamil Nadu and gave a call to prevent the current trend of “converting agricultural lands into real estate properties and engineering colleges.”

First Published: Feb 15, 2018 13:57 IST