Resorting to a sharp attack, actor Kamal Haasan on Thursday alleged that money power was behind TTV Dinakaran’s win in the RK Nagar bypoll held on December 21, as reported by news agency PTI. Reacting to his remark, Dinakaran hit back accusing the star of maligning voters. He said the actor was making such allegations as he could not digest his win in the bypoll.
In an article as part of his weekly series in the latest issue of Tamil magazine ‘Ananda Vikatan,’ Haasan described the bypoll, held due to the demise of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa, as a “stain” on Indian democracy. Without naming Dinakaran, Haasan said the RK Nagar bypoll win was a “purchased” one, alluding to alleged money distribution by the rebel camp.
“RK Nagar bypoll is a big stain on Tamil Nadu politics; it is a big stain on Indian democracy. I won’t call this purchased win even a scam….this is a daylight crime,” Haasan charged. He recalled Election Commission (EC) rescinding the bypoll for this city segment when it was to be held in April last year following complaints of money distribution.
Haasan charged that both the “independent” is the “ruling side fixed rates” for voters. Alleging that people had voted for money, Haasan, in the article, said, “you have been sold out.”
Dinakaran, responding to Haasan’s allegations, said he had “insulted” and “hurt” the RK Nagar voters by making such allegations. Haasan’s charge was “strongly condemnable,” he told PTI. “This doesn’t befit his age and experience. Under the garb of attacking the winner, he is attacking the people, who are mainly from poorer sections, saying they voted for money,” Dinakaran said.
He denied bribing the voters, saying, if at all money would have played a role in the electoral outcome, “Two Leaves
(AIADMK) would have won. Whether you accept or not, people of RK Nagar have voted for me. Don’t hurt those lovable people (by making such allegations),” Dinakaran said.
Questioning whether Kamal Haasan was a ‘judge’ or ‘God,’ Dinakaran said the actor should have contested the bypoll to face the reality. Apparently hitting out at the actor’s political ambitions, Dinakaran asked, “can such people survive in politics.”
“Politics is not some scripted movie where one can mouth dialogues written by someone else,” he said. On his victory, he said RK Nagar voters have “recognised we are Amma’s (Jayalalithaa) successors. Those who are
apprehensive due to this are saying such things (of bribing the voters)”.
Dinakaran dared those making such allegations to reiterate them by holding a public meeting at RK Nagar.
Haasan, who has announced his intentions of entering politics, has been vocal on a number of issues ranging from
corruption to right-wing extremism.
Amidst accusations of money distribution by rival sides –the AIADMK and the Dinakaran camp– the former Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MP, contesting as an independent, had defeated the ruling party candidate E Madhusudhanan. He won by a margin of 40,000 votes, giving a jolt to the Chief Minister K Palaniswami-led dispensation. Both Dinakaran, as well as the ruling party, have denied charges of money distribution during the campaigns.
Dinakaran was the ruling party candidate then but was later sidelined by the Palaniswami and his cabinet colleagues. The chief minister and deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, who was then a rebel leader, merged their respective factions in August last year. Dinakaran contested last month’s election as an independent candidate and polled over 89,000 votes.