In a setback for Kamal Haasan ahead of the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections, Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) general-secretary A Arunachalam Friday joined the BJP in the presence of Union Minister Prakash Javedkar. Arunachalam, one of the founding members of the MNM, said he took the decision after Haasan refused to support the Centre’s farm laws.
Addressing reporters, Arunachalam said he felt blessed to join the saffron party on the birth anniversary of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah have framed these three agricultural laws. Coming from a farming family, I know the benefits of them. When I urged my leader and the party high command to support the Centre’s decision, they refused,” Arunachalam said.
“On several occasions I told them not to consider the laws as a BJP initiative but as something the Centre had come up with for the welfare of the farmers. I told them they are a centrist party and if they don’t support the government’s decision, there won’t be much difference between them and the Opposition. But, they continued to oppose the decision,” he added.
Arunachalan said he could “no longer exist in a party which acts against the welfare of the farmers.”
An earlier version of this article stated Arunachalam was vice-president of MNM. The error is regretted.
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