MKM (Makkal Needhi Maiam) founder Kamal Haasan on Wednesday said that the Kodanad Estate (bungalow of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa) in the Nilgiris was a symbol of betrayal.
Addressing journalists in Pollachi, he said, “It is a symbol of betrayal — a betrayal of people and of themselves.” The Kodanad Estate is in the news following an allegation by a former Tehelka journalist and two accused in a break-in case at the estate, that Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami had a role in the 2017 burglary at Jayalalithaa’s property. The Chief Minister has since denied the allegation.
“What of the allegations that have been proven against the ruling party? It (charge against CM) is not the Opposition parties’ allegations; these are people’s allegations,” he contended when asked about Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam’s comment that the allegations against Mr Palaniswami in the Kodanad issue were being levelled with an eye on Lok Sabha elections.
Asked if he would enter the fray in the Parliamentary elections, Mr Haasan said: “I cannot comment on whether I will contest or not. The party will decide and as far as the alliance is concerned it will be (with) like-minded parties and those who at least wish for corruption to be eradicated.”
His party is committed to reducing unemployment, taking up issues pertaining to farmers and economically weaker sections and women. It is also for providing free and quality education. The programmes that the party has in mind for implementation is in consonance with its ideology. Mr Haasan said if the programmes did not bring the desired results, the party would change the programmes but that did not mean that its ideology had changed.
Asked about the distribution of freebies, Mr Haasan said to call it freebies was not right. Parties were not giving it out of their pockets. It was people’s money that the governments distributed, he argued.
In response to a question on 10% reservation for economically weaker sections among the forward communities, he said new reservation could be thought about only when the reasons for implementing caste-based reservations did not exist. And, new reservation should not disturb the existing reservation arithmetic.