'Those who don't vote are not 'full-time citizens': Kamal Haasan

When asked if an alliance between MNM and Actor Vijay’s Tamilaga Vettri Kazhagam (TVK) was on the cards, Kamal declined to comment and said he was first among those who called for Vijay to enter politics.
Kamal Haasan
Kamal Haasan
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Actor and Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) founder Kamal Haasan on Wednesday, February 21, strongly criticised citizens who do not vote in elections by saying that they are not full-time citizens of the country. Kamal, who was speaking at the seventh anniversary function of MNM, was responding to criticisms that he was not a ‘full-time’ politician. 

“The ECI has said that each candidate can spend Rs 95 lakh. What can you accomplish just by spending 95 lakh?” You can only accomplish Coimbatore South,” Kamal said, taking a dig at his own loss in the Coimbatore South constituency to Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Vanathi Sreenivasan during the 2021 Assembly elections. Acknowledging the loss, Kamal added, “What I consider a loss was not the 1,728 vote margin. I consider my defeat as the defeat of all of us. It is the fact that 90,000 people did not cast their vote.” 

Kamal further said that 40% of the Indian population do not cast their votes. “If all of them voted, everything would become all right. Instead of questioning them, you are questioning me. I am asked why I am not a full time politician, what is that you are doing full time? You are not even a full time citizen of the country when 40% of you are sitting at home without voting. In that case an upright politician who only spends within the ECI limit of 95 lakh can never win.”

At the press meet, Kamal was also asked if his party would ally with actor Vijay’s newly launched Tamilaga Vettri Kazhagam (TVK). Kamal however declined to comment on the matter beyond saying, “My voice was the first among those calling him to enter politics.” 

Kamal also added that, “People used to say that it is very hard to bring me into politics. It is even harder to remove me from politics. I will tell you one thing, my political path has begun. There is no change in this.”

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