Is Kamal Haasan fronting for the BJP?

As ever, Tamil Nadu politics is providing political twists and turns that are both interesting and intriguing.

Actor Kamal Haasan, who had shared a comfortable and easy relationship with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and its former president, the late M Karunanidhi, is these days its vehement critic.

Kamal, who last year floated his political outfit Makkal Neethi Maiam, has always spoken out against the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in the state.

But he had approached the DMK mostly with kid gloves. That was till last month.

This month, the actor-turned-politician has been giving a series of interviews in which he has called out the corruption of the DMK in unequivocal terms.

Kamal has said that he saw no real difference between the AIADMK and the DMK on corruption stakes.

Kamal, while categorically ruling out alliances with the these two parties, has specifically made a call to the public of Tamil Nadu to make a break a from the past and not vote for the two parties.

Kamal did not spare the incumbent DMK president M K Stalin and also said that he was not any different.

Kamal, a self-proclaimed atheist, and as someone who has professed his admiration for the Dravidian icon Periyar, was seen to be in the DMK camp. If not openly, at least on ideological terms.

For him to come out against the DMK with guns blazing has had people arch their eyebrows in surprise.

The DMK has, not surprisingly, turned its guns on Kamal. The DMK party mouthpiece Murasoli had caricatured Kamal in the worst possible manner. The casteist tone of the piece has come in for criticism in Tamil Nadu.

Aside from that, the DMK article critical of Kamal alleges that he is acting as an agent of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Although Kamal has spoken out against the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the DMK feels that the actor is basically BJP’s ‘B team’.

The allegation is — though not in as many words — Kamal is taking on the DMK at the behest of the BJP but without openly siding with the latter.

Actor Rajinikanth is also accused of playing on behalf of the BJP. At least in his case, the charge has some valid reason, as he is openly Hindu in his beliefs, and has claimed that believes in spiritual politics — a thinly veiled euphemism for Hindu politics.

Kamal, in his public positionings, does not stand for anything that the BJP vouches for. He has also said that his party will contest the parliamentary election from all the 40 seats (39 in TN and one in Pondy.) That would mean he will fight against the BJP at the hustings, too.

But is there a private understanding between two? The BJP has denied it, and so has the actor. Also, it is not uncommon for the local BJP leaders to be critical of Kamal. He also has returned their compliments in right earnest.

However, in these politically rife times, tongues are wagging. And they will continue to till the elections are over.

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