Ahead of TN polls, Kamal Haasan's party member joins BJP
The Vice-President of Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM), the party floated by actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan, on Friday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the presence of Union Minister Prakash Javadekar just months before Tamil Nadu Assembly polls. A Arunachalam, one of the founding members of the party, said he quit MNM as Haasan didn't lend support to the new farm laws. Here's more.
Speaking to reporters, Arunachalam said he feels privileged to join BJP on the birth anniversary of party stalwart and late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He said the new laws, passed in the Parliament in September, will benefit the farmers. He hailed PM Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for framing these laws while adding that he urged his "leader" to support them.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah have framed these three agricultural laws. Coming from a farming family, I know the benefits of them. When I urged my leader and the party high command to support the Centre's decision, they refused," he said.
The leader recalled that on several occasions he asked his party to not view these laws through a political prism "but as something, the Centre had come up with for the welfare of the farmers." "I told them they are a centrist party and if they don't support the government's decision, there won't be much difference between them and the Opposition," he claimed.
MNM's disdain toward the laws was known when earlier this month, Haasan batted for dialogue with farmers. "Have a dialogue, it is long overdue. You (PM Modi) must have a dialogue. Because it is very important for the nation. You also believe in the good of the nation. Agriculture must be taken care of. This is not a request," he said.
Days after Haasan gave his opinion, a team from MNM joined the farmers at the Singhu border, the epicenter of the agitation, on December 6. A party member Mookambika Rathinam said they wanted to support farmers from Punjab and Haryana. Like farmers, the party also demanded that the three laws are repealed. "Farmers have insecurity, government has to listen to the farmers," she claimed.