Thoothukudi, May 14 : Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) founder Kamal Haasan on Tuesday called off the election campaign in Ottapidaram (Reserved) Assembly Constituency in Thoothukudi district.
Mr.Haasan, who was scheduled to campaign in the Ottapidaram constituency to canvass votes for MNM’s alliance Valarum Tamizhagam Party candidate M.Gandhi for the May 19 by-poll, cancelled his programme at the last minute, party sources said.
Though no official reason was given for the decision, it was learnt that the MNM chief had cancelled his programme in view of strong protests from BJP, AIADMK and Sangh Parivar groups like the Hindu Mahasabha, after he sparked a controversy by stating that “the first extremist of Independent India was a Hindu. His name was Nathuram Godse,” he said.
However, Mr.Haasan will undertake election campaign at Thirupparankundram assembly constituency in Madurai district as per schedule on Wednesday to canvass for votes for his party candidate P.Shaktivel.
The MNM chief will address rallies at Periyar Nagar, Panaiyur, Anuppanadi and Villapuram localities, a senior party functionary here said.
Earlier, he had cancelled his election campaign at Aravakurichi on (Monday). It was stated that he called of his campaign in Aravakurichi after the election officials reportedly refused to give permission for it, in view of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s election campaign in that area during the day.
It may be recalled that Mr.Haasan’s remarks made during an election campaign for his party’s candidate for the Aravakurichi assembly constituency in Karur district on Sunday night blew up into a major political row with the BJP and its ally the AIADMK demanding the Election Commission to ban the MNM party.
Senior AIADMK leader and Tamil Nadu Dairy Development Minister K.T.Rajendra Balaji yesterday said Kamal Haasan’s tongue should be cut off for spewing venomous remarks to get minority votes.
Mr.Haasan, known for his penchant of stoking religious controversies, stirred up a row in 2017 after he said “right-wing Hindu terror was now a reality in India.”
Similarly, he triggered outrage among the Brahmin community from which he hailed, by commenting that he avoided “poonool” (sacred thread) that Brahmins wear, as it affected him a lot.
During a Twitter interaction with his fans last year, the actor-turned-politician was asked which “nools” (books) have had an impact on his life, he replied “there is a “nool” (thread), I avoided. That threat affected me a lot – Poonool. That is why I avoided it,” he said.
Tamil Nadu Brahmins Association strongly condemned his comments and said Kamal Haasan has no respect for his parent heritage and was putting forth a poor personality before the people.