The Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM), founded by actor-politician Kamal Haasan today held deliberations with different political parties and farmers' organisations on the Cauvery dispute while the DMK and 'Superstar' Rajinikanth gave it a miss.
The Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM), founded by actor-politician Kamal Haasan today held deliberations with different political parties and farmers’ organisations on the Cauvery dispute while the DMK and ‘Superstar’ Rajinikanth gave it a miss. While Kamal Haasan had personally invited DMK Working President MK Stalin, he had spoken to Rajinikanth over the phone seeking his participation in today’s meeting. The meeting was attended by TTV Dhinakaran’s Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) and Dr S Ramadoss-founded Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) besides some farmer’s bodies. Stalin had earlier said DMK and its allies, including Congress, had decided not to attend the event as there was “no need” to do so.
Responding to the abstention of DMK, Haasan said Stalin might have said so because “of a lack of understanding over what we had planned to do today.” “If he had understood it, we believe he would not have said so,” Haasan, flanked by PMK leader and its Lok Sabha MP Anbumani Ramadoss and AMMK functionary and former MLA Thanga Tamilselvan, told reporters after the meeting. Asked about Rajinikanth, Haasan’s peer and aspiring politician, not attending the event, the MNM founder said he had wanted the former to participate. “When I invited him (over the phone) he said I (Haasan) had started a party but he was yet to and therefore how could he attend the event.”
“That was his view. My view is that he could have come,” Haasan added. He said such meetings would continue and expressed hope that Rajinikanth would attend them in the future. Though Rajinikanth had announced in December 2017 that he will launch a political party which will contest from all 234 seats in the next Assembly elections, he has formally entered politics so far. When reporters asked if there would be any alliance between PMK and MNM for the local body polls, Ramadoss replied in the negative, saying politics was not at all discussed in today’s meeting.
“The deliberations revolved around farmers and Cauvery and how to save them,” he said. Earlier, Haasan said topics discussed in today’s meeting included a demand to declare the Cauvery delta region as a “protected agriculture zone” and more focus on addressing environmental issues. The Supreme Court had yesterday approved the Centre’s draft Cauvery Management Scheme, for smooth distribution of water among four southern riparian states.