New Delhi: Actor Kamal Haasan today joined his voice to the thousands objecting to what they call the foisting of VK Sasikala on them as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and said O Panneerselvam should be allowed to continue.
- "Why not let Panneerselvam go on for some time," says Kamal Haasan
- The people, he said, have been too tolerant and not demanding enough
- Yesterday, Mr Panneerselvam said he had been forced to resign
"Why not let Panneerselvam go on for some time? He has done his job fairly well," Mr Haasan said, adding that if the people do not like him, they have the "mandate to throw him out of power". Calling the present situation a "bad climax", he said "Sasikala reality hurts me".
At a dramatic press conference yesterday, the soft-spoken Mr Pannerselvam had said he had been repeatedly humiliated and forced to resign his post as the Chief Minister, even though he was Ms Jayalalithaa's choice for the job. Over the week-end, the AIADMK had chosen Sasikala to head the government -- a decision that had come under huge criticism on social media by people who had pointed to her lack of any first-hand experience in politics and administration.
"We are not sheep, we don't want to be shepherded," Mr Haasan said in a strong criticism of the AIADMK and the state's existing political tradition, which makes a virtue of obsequiousness. The people, he said are not "demanding enough" and have been "tolerant" for too long.
For supporters, Ms Jayalalithaa had been Amma, Ms Sasikala; her longtime companion, had been fondly called Chinnamma (mother's little sister).
But Mr Haasan said "Let's not talk in terms of personal relations... For a naive young India it's OK to call Gandhiji Bapuji, and Nehru Chachaji -- but we've grown up".
Ms Sasikala had flaunted her numbers at a hasty midnight meeting yesterday and again this morning. The 131 of the party's 134 legislators who had turned up for the meeting today were taken off to a secret location to prevent their being influenced by Mr Panneerselvam or other parties.
Mr Haasan said he was not impressed simply because Sasikala has superior numbers. "If they don't know the business of running the nation, they have no right to be there," Mr Haasan said.