Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan on Monday called on Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president Naveen Patnaik and said he sought political advice from the five-time chief minister of Odisha. Patnaik and Haasan talked for about 30 minutes at Naveen Niwas, the residence of the chief minister.
"It was a fruitful conversation where I received advice as a politician. I was asking questions to which he had some great answers which can't be discussed here. We are happy that we found time to meet him," Haasan, who founded Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) party, told reporters after the meeting.
Asked about any possible alliance between Odisha's ruling BJD and his MNM, Haasan said, "Senior leaders will decide on this. However, we do seek advice and watch Naveen Patnaik closely. We are happy to meet him and seek his wisdom." Haasan who is being treated as a state guest had been to Bhubaneswar to attend a programme of a private institution.
"I am delighted that Kamal Haasan is in Bhubaneswar. We had a discussion this evening on his political career and prospects, and on the films, he is doing," Naveen Patnaik said. He said he hoped that Haasan will be able to have a longer trip to Odisha and visit tourist spots like Konark and Chilika.
On November 13, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami lashed out at the actor-turned-politician over his "political ambitions." Speaking to the media, Palaniswami said, "Why didn't he (Kamal) contest in the by-polls which happened, he is a big leader, right? How many votes did he get in the Parliamentary elections? These are all planned." Furthermore, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister said, "He has become old, he must be around 65 years old. Hence, there are no opportunities in the film industry for him."
Earlier this month, Haasan, celebrating his 65th birthday had shared that his father backed his decision to enter politics. Haasan said, "When my father told me I should enter politics, I expressed doubt if there was any need for that whereas such necessity existed when he participated in the freedom movement. He asked me what I would do if the need arose. Well, the need has arisen now and that's why I launched into politics", said Kamal, insisting that his foray into politics was "not due to any shortcomings or dearth of other opportunities" but only to serve the society.
(With PTI inputs)