The proposed Salem eight-lane highway project has been a topic of contention between different factions in the state and has caused unrest amongst farmers. However, actor-turned-politician Rajinikanth is of the opinion that such projects are necessary for the development and growth of the country.
“Employment opportunities will increase. Surely, people will have losses but the right kind of compensation needs to be given so that people are satisfied. It should be done in a way that farming lands are not affected as much as possible,” he added.
On account of Kamarajar’s 116th birth anniversary, Rajnikanth addressed the press from outside his residence in Poes Garden on Sunday morning. He answered questions ranging from Tamil Nadu’s education system to his official entry in politics.
Speaking on the quality of education in the state, Rajinikanth said that education is better in TN than anywhere else in the country.
“It can be developed, yes but I believe they are doing it. Minister Sengottaiyan is doing a good job as far as I know,” he said.
On making his politics official, Rajinikanth maintained a non-committal “only time will tell” response. He also clarified that his outfit has not gathered one crore members, contrary to rumours doing the rounds.
Regarding Tamizharuvi Manian’s interest to join him in politics, Rajinikanth expressed that he is happy to know that Manian has expressed interest to join Rajini Makkal Mandram. “Tamizharuvi Manian is a person who follows Gandhian principles, who lives by Kamarajar’s principles. My heartfelt thanks to him,” he said.
The Salem project, proposed at an outlay of Rs 10,000 crore by the Centre, has been the top priority of the state government. The government is acquiring land in the districts to carry out the project.
The project has faced stiff opposition from opposition parties and social activists, who say that it would destroy fertile lands and destroy the lives of several farmers.
Giving his views on the simultaneous polls to elect Members of the Legislative Assembly and Members of Parliament, Rajinikanth said, "It will definitely be good. Definitely a lot of time and money will be saved. With one election after another, politicians' time and energy goes away in that. Both (assembly and parliamentary elections) taking place simultaneously is to be welcomed. Other parties should also realise the seriousness of it and completely cooperate. If they make it happen, it's definitely very good."
Welcoming the recently tabled Lokayukta Bill in the state, Rajinikanth added, "It should function as a powerful Lokayukta. A retired judge should be appointment. If it functions well, it will be good."