Kamal made the statement just hours before beginning his election campaign.

Kamal Haasan in front of mic wearing a white shirtFile Image
news Controversy Sunday, December 13, 2020 - 16:36

About three days since Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the new Parliament building that is to come up in New Delhi, Makkal Needhi Maiam Chief Kamal Haasan on Sunday demanded to know the rationale behind it "when half of India is starving due to coronavirus pandemic triggered loss of livelihoods". The Rs 1000 crore building, spread across an area of 64,500 square metres, will be conducted by Tata Projects Limited that won the bid.

"For whom is this new Parliament building being constructed at a cost of Rs 1,000 crore when half of India is starving due to the coronavirus pandemic triggered loss of livelihoods?" the Makkal Needhi Maiam leader asked in a tweet.

Kamal made the statement just hours before beginning his election campaign. "Answer honourable elected Prime Minister," he said hours before kick-starting the first phase of his campaign for the Assembly polls from Madurai in southern Tamil Nadu. Assembly elections are due during April-May 2021 in Tamil Nadu.

Seeking to liken the proposed construction of the new edifice to the centuries-old Great Wall of China, he claimed that 'thousands of people perished' during its construction, but the dragon nation rulers said the wall was to 'guard' the people.

The new building will be constructed close to the existing one under the Central Vista redevelopment project. The existing Parliament House building will be suitably retro-fitted to provide more functional spaces for parliamentary events, to ensure its usage along with the new building.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for a new Parliament building on December 10. He also performed the ground-breaking ceremony for the structure, which is expected to be completed by 2022. Speaking to reporters before leaving for the temple town, Haasan alleged that the authorities had at the last minute not granted permission for MNM to campaign within urban areas, though they had got the nod to go ahead in 'many places'.

Asked about the focus of his party's campaign, he said would be ushering in a complete transformation in Tamil Nadu. "There is no doubt about degeneration in the state... people know that well and there is no point lamenting... MNM will talk about what needs to be done now," he said.

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