‘New Parliament when half of India is hungry?’: Kamal Haasan likens Central Vista to Great Wall of China

Chennai: Actor-politician Kamal Haasan on Sunday questioned the need for the Central Vista project in the midst of a global pandemic.

Haasan, the founder of Makkal Needhi Maiam, in a tweet said: “Thousands of people had died during the construction of the Great Wall of China. The emperors said the wall was meant to safeguard the people. When half of India is hungry with livelihoods affected by COVID-19, for whom is the Parliament (Central Vista project) being constructed at a cost of Rs 1,000 crore? Answer my honourable elected Prime Minister...”

Significantly, Haasan’s tweet criticising the BJP-ruled Central Government comes at a time when he is being accused by critics in Tamil Nadu of being the BJP’s ‘B Team’.

The actor, who is known for his ‘Left of the Centre’ political views, came under attack recently when he posted a video in support of Anna University Vice Chancellor M K Surappa against whom the AIADMK Government has initiated an inquiry by a retired High Court judge. The Government said it had ordered the inquiry upon receiving complaints of corruption and nepotism against Surappa, who incidentally figures among top global scientists.

Haasan came out in defence of Surappa and questioned if he was being made Tamil Nadu’s Nambi Narayanan (former Kerala ISRO scientist who came clean in a spy case) for refusing to allow corruption. Incidentally Dravidian parties and the Left had dubbed Surappa, who hails from Karnataka, an RSS man ever since he was appointed by Governor Banwarilal Purohit two years ago. There has been no evidence to prove the claim though.

Against this backdrop, critics have accused Haasan of supporting a RSS-BJP appointee. They claimed that Haasan has entered electoral politics to split the anti-establishment votes to prevent the DMK from coming to power in 2021. Haasan, however, responded to the charge by saying that if standing by those who opposed corruption meant he was a “right-winger” or “Sanghi”, so be it. Meanwhile, the actor hit the ground in Madurai on Sunday launching his early election campaign.

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