CM de­fends free­bies, lashes out at ac­tors

‘They earn crores, but how much have they spent on peo­ple?’

The Hindu - - TAMIL NADU - Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent

De­fend­ing govern­ment free­bies, Chief Min­is­ter Edap­padi K. Palaniswami launched a scathing at­tack on ac­tors “earn­ing ₹50 crore to ₹100 crore per film, but do­ing noth­ing for the peo­ple”.

Ad­dress­ing me­di­a­per­sons at Coim­bat­ore air­port, he said the con­tro­versy sur­round­ing Vi­jay-star­rer

[over scenes crit­i­cal of free­bies] had died down, and there was no need to stir it up again. Free­bies had been dis­trib­uted to 1.84 crore peo­ple. Only in Tamil Nadu, [for­mer CM Jay­alalithaa] had pro­vided house­hold items nor­mally as­so­ci­ated with the rich to the poor and down­trod­den, he said, adding, “Even [the di­rec­tor of Mu­ru­ga­doss’s rel­a­tive has re­ceived free­bies.”

The CM ac­cused ac­tors har­bour­ing po­lit­i­cal am­bi­tions of mis­lead­ing the peo­ple for their own ben­e­fit.

Amma Sarkar] Sarkar

“For one film, they com­mand a salary of ₹50 crore or ₹100 crore. How much have they spent on the peo­ple?” he asked. Tak­ing a dig at ac­tor-turned-politi­cian Ka­mal Haasan, the CM said that after re­tir­ing from cin­ema, Mr. Haasan was aspir­ing for a ca­reer in pol­i­tics to start act­ing in this field. But act­ing won’t work in pol­i­tics.

On the po­lit­i­cal cri­sis in Sri Lanka, he said, wanted [for­mer Pres­i­dent] Mahinda Ra­japaksa to be de­clared a war crim­i­nal for the

“Amma

geno­cide of Tamils. Now, Pres­i­dent Sirisena has mur­dered democ­racy. As Tamils in that coun­try are liv­ing in fear, the Cen­tre should give them proper pro­tec­tion.”

Mean­while, Mr. Haasan urged the peo­ple to shun those who of­fered cash in re­turn for votes. Ad­dress­ing the pub­lic at a road show in Harur, he said votes were bought in re­turn for “five years of slav­ery”, and the peo­ple [who in­dulged in such bribery] had no right to com­plain.

N. BASHKARAN ■

Touch­ing base: MNM leader Ka­mal Haasan ad­dress­ing the pub­lic at Harur in Dharmapuri on Satur­day.

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