Tamil actors, directors rant against Congress over Sri Lanka

May 6th, 2009 - 6:16 pm ICT by IANS  

P. Chidambaram Chennai, May 6 (IANS) They are not contesting the Lok Sabha elections and don’t care who wins either. But many Tamil film personalities are campaigning actively to prevent the Congress from winning in Tamil Nadu — all over Sri Lanka’s war.
The group, including directors Bharathiraja, Seeman, Cheran and Ameer, is touring various parts of Tamil Nadu appealing to people to vote against Congress candidates.

They have already been to Erode and Salem and plan to cover all the places where the Congress is in the race by May 13 when Tamil Nadu votes.

Speaking to IANS from Salem, 200 km from Chennai, Vinu Bharathi, a senior associate director and one of the members of the Bharathiraja group, said their campaign was drawing a positive response.

The film personalities allege that the Congress-led Indian government has been covertly backing Sri Lanka’s war against the Tamil Tigers that has led to the deaths of thousands of innocents.

“Bharathiraja and everyone have been speaking about the Congress plan and the genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka. We are making people understand the duplicity of the Congress,” said Vinu Bharathi.

According to him, more than 15,000 people attended the meeting in Erode despite heavy rains and heard the speeches of Bharathiraja and Seeman with rapt attention.

He said actor-director Manivannan, actor Vadivelu and others would join the campaign.

Bharathiraja, Ameer and Seeman have been highlighting the suffering of the Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka, where the military has vowed to crush the Tamil Tigers.

Seeman was arrested earlier under the National Security Act by the Tamil Nadu government for his fiery speeches against the Indian government and in favour of Tamil Tigers chief Velupillai Prabhakaran.

The film personalities are not canvassing against the DMK, Tamil Nadu’s ruling party and the Congress ally.

Bharathiraja says the DMK has shown concerns over the Tamil issue and is a victim of “circumstances in the drama the Congress is playing”.

Given the popularity of the Tamil actors and directors, the Congress is not at all happy.

Senior Congress leader E.V.K.S. Elangovan is the candidate in Erode, the first halt for the film personalities. Elangovan is the grandson of well-known social reformer E.V. Ramaswamy Naicker, also known as Periyar. A furious Bharathiraja dubbed Elangovan an “alien residing in Tamil Nadu”.

Bharathiraja has returned his Padma Shri award to protest India’s Sri Lanka policy.

Besides Erode and Salem, the Congress is contesting in Dindigul, Thirumangalam, Virudhunagar, Tenkasi, Theni, Tirunelveli, Mayilathurai, Sivaganaga, Karaikudi, Cuddalore, Kancheepuram, Tirupur and Arani as well as Puducherry.

Home Minister P. Chidambaram is contesting from Sivaganga and Panchayati Raj Minister Mani Shankar Iyer from Mayilathurai.

In the last Lok Sabha elections, the Congress contested and won 10 Lok Sabha seats. This time the DMK-Congress alliance faces a formidable challenge from the broader coalition led by the AIADMK.

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