The Madras High Court today reserved its order on Kamal Haasan's anticipatory bail plea in the matter of the actor's controversial remark that the first extremist in Independent India was a Hindu. Mr Haasan was referring to Nathuram Godse who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi in 1948.
The court set no date for the order but observed that it would be good if the media were to stop telecasting the speech and political parties refrained from discussing during rallies.
In his affidavit the actor told the court, "My Godse comments a historical fact. My speech focussed on co-existence and did not incite hatred. Parts of my speech are being misquoted with malafide intent".
The actor-turned-politician, whose party Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) made its debut in the national election when the state voted on April 18, was campaigning in the town of Aravkurichi on Sunday when he said, "I am not saying this because this is a Muslim-dominated area, but I am saying this before a statue of Gandhi. Independent India's first extremist (theeviravaadi) was a Hindu, his name is Nathuram Godse. There it starts".
Criticism of Mr Hassan's comment followed quickly with the BJP hitting out at him.
The party's state wing chief, Tamilisai Soundarajan tweeted in Tamil: "We strongly condemn Kamal Haasan for talking about Hindu extremism in his poll campaign. He is triggering communal violence in a place where there are a lot of minorities. The Election Commission must take stringent action against Kamal Haasan for this speech".
The actor also had slippers thrown at him at a later election rally - in the Tirupparankundram assembly seat in Madurai where too a bypoll has been scheduled for May 19. Madurai police have booked eleven people, most of the BJP workers
The police in Aravakurichi had filed the FIR under sections 153A and 295A of the Indian Penal Code,which deal with ''outraging religious feelings'' and ''promoting enmity between different groups'', respectively.
Kamal Haasan's party has issued a statement saying his comments were "taken out of context".
Earlier today the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court also rejected a plea to ban Kamal Haasan from campaigning.
Aravakurichi is one of four assembly constituencies in the state where bypolls are scheduled for May 19. Kamal Haasan's party has fielded a candidate from that seat.