Hindustan Times (Patiala) - - Nation election20­19 -

CHEN­NAI: Se­cu­rity has been beefed up at ac­tor-turned-politi­cian Ka­mal Haasan’s Al­war­pet res­i­dence in Chen­nai af­ter his “Hindu ter­ror­ist” re­mark stirred up a po­lit­i­cal storm in Tamil Nadu. Haasan, the chief of the Makkal Needhi Ma­iam (MNM), has come un­der fire from the rul­ing All In­dia Anna Dravida Mun­netra Kazhagam, its ally Bharatiya Janata Party and other par­ties, for say­ing at a cam­paign rally on Sun­day that free In­dia’s first ter­ror­ist was a Hindu, and named Nathu­ram Godse, who killed Ma­hatma Gandhi in 1948.

At least 50 po­lice­men have been de­ployed at Haasan’s res­i­dence. Haasan can­celled a cam­paign rally in Ot­tap­i­daram on Tues­day. “Ka­mal will con­tinue his cam­paign from Thirup­pa­rankun­dram Wednesday evening on­wards,” MNM spokespers­on Mu­rali Ab­bas said.

Lok Sabha elec­tions for 38 seats in Tamil Nadu were held si­mul­ta­ne­ously with by­polls to 18 assem­bly seats in the state on April 18. Four more assem­bly by-polls are sched­uled for May 19, along with the last phase of gen­eral elec­tions.

The MNM also sought the re­moval of AIADMK min­is­ter KT Ra­jen­dra Bha­laji who had said on Mon­day that Haasan’s tongue should be cut off for his re­mark. MNM gen­eral sec­re­tary A Arunacha­lam Bha­laji should be re­moved from his post for his com­ments, say­ing it showed that the min­is­ter lacked “po­lit­i­cal ethics and per­sonal dig­nity”.

Bha­laji re­sponded say­ing that he would take back his words, if Haasan with­drew his Hindu ter­ror­ist state­ment.

Mean­while, BJP leader Ash­wini Upad­hyay has moved the Delhi High Court seek­ing di­rec­tions to the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion to “re­strict” mis­use of re­li­gion for poll gains. The Tamil Nadu Mus­lim League on Tues­day also pe­ti­tioned the state chief elec­toral of­fi­cer to dis­qual­ify MNM Aravakkuri­chi by­poll can­di­date for Haasan’s state­ment.

Ka­mal Haasan

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