Security has been beefed up outside Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) office at Alwarpet in Chennai following intelligence inputs that some Hindu groups might stage protests in response to MNM chief Kamal Haasan's controversial remark on Nathuram Godse. MNM sources said that Kamal Haasan is not in Chennai as he is out for campaigning in Thirupparankundram for the upcoming by polls, scheduled for Sunday.
On Sunday, Kamal Haasan sparked a political row by saying that independent India's first terrorist was a 'Hindu' and he was Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse. The MNM founder made the statement while speaking at an election rally for his party candidate in Aravakurichi assembly constituency. The bypoll for this constituency is scheduled to take place on May 19. “Independent India’s first terrorist was a Hindu. His name is Nathuram Godse. I’m not saying this because this is a locality with a sizeable Muslim population, I’m saying this in front of a Gandhi statue,” said Haasan. The MNM chief added that he is the great-grandson of Gandhi in his conscience. “I am here to question that murder today. Consider it that way,” he added.
Meanwhile, the BJP took strong objection to Kamal Haasan's remark and accused the actor-turned-politician of misusing religion for electoral gains. " It is necessary to state that the statement was made deliberately in the presence of a Muslim majority crowd for electoral gain, which is clearly a corrupt practice under Section 123(3) the Representation of the People Act 1951," the BJP said in its complaint letter to EC.
"Mr. Kamal Hasaan is deliberately promoting enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of Harmony and brotherhood, which is an offence under Section 153A of the IPC," added the EC's letter.
Haasan, however, also got support from KS Alagiri of Congress, who said that he fully agreed with the views of the MNM chief. "I support and agree with Kamal Haasan's statement not only 100%, but 1000%," Alagiri said.