Union Minister Smriti Irani has challenged actor and Makkal Needhi Maiam founder Kamal Haasan to have an open debate with Vanathi Srinivasan, the BJP’s candidate for Coimbatore South constituency in Tamil Nadu, after he took on the Centre on issues of development in his campaigns. Mr Haasan is also contesting from this Constituency.
Addressing the “North India Community Outreach Programme”, organised at Gujarati Samaj in Coimbatore, the BJP leader recalled that she had participated in a debate with him a few years back.
“I challenge Kamal Haasan to come for a debate with Vanathi Srinivasan, to prove to the people who is it that really knows the issues well, gives solutions and implements policies,” she said.
Reeling out statistics on infrastructUre development, she said the Centre has built 10 crore toilets nationwide, of which 90 lakh was in Tamil Nadu.
Similarly, the PM initiated the Jandhan scheme through which government was able to directly transfer money to people’s accounts, benefiting 40 crore people all over the country, of which 90 lakh were in Tamil Nadu, she added. The state received 1.25 crore drinking water taps of the five crore installed in India in the last two years, she said, speaking in Gujarati and Hindi.
A central government scheme through which farmers get Rs 6,000 annually had benefited 10 crore of them and 50 lakh of them were in Tamil Nadu, the minister said.
The Centre has also sanctioned 11 medical colleges and an AIIMS for Tamil Nadu, she said.
“All this was possible because the people of India blessed and elected Narendra Modi as Prime Minister… who chose to be the first public servant of the nation,” she added.
Appealing the people to cast their votes for the BJP on April 6, she said “Lakshmi (goddess of wealth) is coming not with torch, but on Kamal (Lotus).”
On why she targetted only Kamal Hassan when other parties, including the Congress, were contesting elections, she said: “Congress is not at all in the picture.”