Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Thursday assailed actor and Makkal Needhi Maiam founder Kamal Haasan for hosting the reality show 'Bigg Boss,' saying the actor "can do no good for the people and his job is only to spoil good families."
The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam veteran's criticism of Haasan comes in the backdrop of the actor invoking the legacy of the ruling party's founder and former chief minister, the late M G Ramachandran, and the MNM chief lashing out at government over corruption.
Palaniswami insisted that only the AIADMK, founded by the late Ramachandran, could lay claim to his legacy and wondered if Haasan "could christen the child of someone else."
In response to Palaniswami's criticism, Haasan quipped he was happy the chief minister was also watching the reality show.
Pointing out that Haasan has launched a political party "post retirement," Palaniswami asked, "what does he know (about politics)?"
"He is conducting Bigg Boss. If you see those serials not only children but also good families will get spoiled."
"One cannot pin hopes on the actor as he can't do good for the people. His job is only to spoil good families," the chief minister said, perhaps in his most strong criticism of Haasan so far.
The CM's comments came in response to a question from a reporter who sought his reaction to the actor's tweet on corruption.
"Ask sensible questions. You are trying to give the impression that the actor is a political leader," Palaniswami chided the scribe.
Haasan, highly critical of the AIADMK government over a number of issues including graft, had earlier tweeted, while referring to the seizure of unaccounted money from various government offices by the DVAC, state officials were following the footsteps of the government on corruption.
Averring that there are several issues concerning people like the interlinking of rivers, farming or giving good advice to youngsters, Palaniswami said Haasan's films did not give any socially relevant messages to the people as did the films of MGR, as Ramachandran is popularly addressed.
"MGR gave good songs with pertinent messages to the people, especially children. Has Kamal given any song that would do good to people?" Palaniswami asked.
Children and good families "will get spoiled" if they watch Kamal Haasan's Bigg Boss show, he said.
Later, speaking to reporters at Perambalur, the AIADMK co-coordinator said Haasan "himself accepts that votes can be received only by taking MGR's name."
"Because, he (Hassan) does not have individual clout. AIADMK was founded by MGR, so it is the only movement qualified to use his name. No one else has the moral right to do so," he said.
"Can he christen the child of someone else?" the CM asked.
Responding to Palaniswami's tirade, Haasan said in a tweet he was happy "that the chief minister is also watching Bigg Boss," whose Tamil version he anchors on a private TV channel.
He also recalled lines from a superhit Tamil song from a film featuring MGR to imply some may compromise with all ideals for their needs but he will put an end to such people.
The MNM leader had recently invoked the legacy of Ramachandran, a hugely popular leader, when he had said he was 'continuing' the dream of the former chief minister to make Madurai the second capital of Tamil Nadu.
He had also hinted Ramachandran cannot be confined merely to DMK, from where he started his political journey or his founded AIADMK.
He had said he grew up 'on the lap of MGR' while several Tamil Nadu ministers would not have even seen him personally.
On the vigilance raids, Palaniswami said the DVAC comes under the state government and the checks show its intention to prevent malpractices.