Makkal Needhi Maiam chief Kamal Haasan has officially announced his plunge into electoral politics, starting with the local body elections in the state. At a mock gram panchayat that he held on Tuesday in Chennai, the actor turned politician said that his party will contest in the upcoming local body elections.
Kamal held a mock gram panchayat at his office in Chennai to remind people of the practise on the Panchayati Raj Day, commemorated across the country on April 24. Speaking to media persons, Kamal said that 25 years ago the gram panchayat was given constitutional status, but we forgot how to use it and the value it holds.
Speaking on gram sabhas where elected village leaders get together to discuss the management of the village, Kamal said, “This is not something that we have discovered. It has been there for a thousand years. It is given in our legal framework. This is strength of our villages.”
Commemorating the national Panchayati Raj day, he also added, "25 years ago, on this day, the law was passed. But because of political selfishness and our slight carelessness, we have failed in our duty. We must remind ourselves of it again and fulfil our duty.”
“The gram panchayats get between 1 to 5 crores in funds depending on their population. In Tamil Nadu we have over 12,524 villages. Multiply that in crores. All of that money is there but we need to see if it is being properly utilised. Most people are from villages. These gram sabhas must happen in every village. We have forgotten and we must remind ourselves of it. Abolition of corruption cannot happen overnight. First, it has to be reduced, then it has to be banned and then it has to abolished,” he said.
He also stated that as per law gram panchayats should be held on May 1, August 15, October 2, and January 26 but in practise, this doesn't happen.