BJP’s victory is not Tamil people’s mandate, says MNM chief Kamal

Chennai: Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) president Kamal Haasan has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to give equal importance to Tamilnadu as he would to States where the BJP had won. He was speaking at a post-poll result press conference today at his Alwarpet residence here.
“Your duty is to consider Tamilnadu as also a part of India. You should give equal importance to Tamilnadu as you would do to the States where you won. Don’t take hydrocarbons from our agricultural lands. There are other places for that. Don’t turn to dust the place where we live,” Kamal said.

Talking about BJP’s resounding victory in the country, Kamal said it was the “people’s mandate but not Tamil people’s mandate”.

However, Kamal refused to talk about the Tamilnadu BJP unit, saying he doesn’t want to waste time. “I don’t have time to console losers. I can only wish the winners.”
On MNM’s vote share in Tamilnadu, Kamal said the poll results exceeded his expectation. “There are political parties that have not been in power for more than 14 years. We (MNM) are just 14 months old. We received more votes than I expected. We have been receiving appreciation and encouragement everywhere and from everyone. It shows we are on the right path.”
“The votes we received show that nermai vendradhu. It is a pat on not just our back but also for the people of Tamilnadu. The straighforward voter count will only increase in the coming years,” he added.
While MNM managed to get votes in urban centres, its voter percentage in the rural areas was poor.
“We managed to win amidst perum pana puyal (cash for votes). We have learned that our journey is long and beating poverty is tough. We will concentrate on grama sabhas and involve more people in it,” Kamal said, talking about the lesson learnt from the election and the road ahead for his party.
Answering questions from reporters on his future plans, Kamal hinted that he would return to films to fund his political ambitions. “Politics should not be a business and it is not my business. It is my extra-curricular duty. I will continue to act. It is my job. Until you, the people, give me a good office to sit in, I will not stop acting,” he said.

A Harsha Vardhan