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Will Enter Politics, Says Tamil Actor Vishal

Tamil Actor Vishal

HYDERABAD, Jan 19 – Tamil actor Vishal, who was in news recently when his nomination for the bypoll to RK Nagar Assembly constituency was rejected, said “the situation” made him decide on entering politics.

“I go back home and then I get it on the news saying my nomination is rejected. Fair enough. Actually, the territory and that situation made me decide on politics. Yes, I am going to come into politics. Thanks to them,” he said, speaking at the India Today South Conclave in Hyderabad.

The next Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu would be a game-changer, Vishal said.

“Today, I would say that yes, the next election in Tamil Nadu is going to be a game-changer. I am not talking as a politician here. I am talking as a representative of the people. I have seen things happen for the few years. I have been seeing people wanting a change,” he said.

Asked who would make a successful leader among the stars including Rajinikanth and Kamal Hassan who have planned to enter politics, he said their agendas have not been announced yet.

Asked if it would be a mistake if Rajinikanth allied with right-wing parties, Vishal said it is up to him to decide.

“It (Rajinikanth’s announcement about political entry) is the first step. There are still more to come from him. Waiting for him to speak more,” he said.

To a query, he said “it is the fascination to do good to people” that motivated Tamil film stars to become political leaders. – NDTV

Kamal Haasan To Announce Party Name, Begin Tamil Nadu Tour On February 21

CHENNAI, Jan 17 – Kamal Haasan will announce his political party’s name on February 21 at Tamil Nadu’s Ramanathapuram and begin a state-wide tour the same day. The tour will be held in phases.

He will begin the journey from Ramanathapuram — his hometown — and later visit people from the districts of Madurai, Dindigul and Sivagangai.

It will mark Mr Haasan’s official entry into politics about which he has been making overtures since last year.

“At the commencement of the journey, I intend to announce the name of my political party along with the guiding principles we intend to live by,” Mr Haasan said in a statement on Tuesday.

The veteran actor said he intends to challenge the status quo “that has been plaguing the politics of Tamil Nadu for some time now”.

“However, for this to happen, my thoughts and actions need to collectively resonate with the people,” he said, adding that through the state-wide tour he wants to familiarise himself with the people’s concerns, “…to truly understand as to what the needs of my people are?, what is afflicting them?, what their aspirations are?,” he said.

Kamal Haasan said the tour was “neither an act of rebellion nor a gathering for glamour”. “This is a journey of discovery and learning and an opportunity for me to truly understand my people,” said Mr Haasan.

He exhorted the people of Tamil Nadu to “question mediocrity” and “raise the bar” of governance and welfare in the state.

“This journey is intended towards that goal. I begin this journey with your support. Join hands with me to empower our country and state. I will see you soon,” Kamal Haasan said. – NDTV

11 Injured In Palamedu Jallikattu

Jallikattu: The assault of bulls for sport

MADURAI, Jan 15 – 11 competitors were injured while engaged in Jallikattu on Monday in Palamedu, famous for the bull-taming sport.

Tamil Nadu Revenue Minister R B Udhayakumar inaugurated the grand event that saw participation of around 1,000 bulls and hundreds of sportsmen who vied for the honours.

A large number of spectators also thronged Palamedu, one of the famous venues for jallikattu in the district along with Alanganallur and Avaniapuram, and cheered competitors.

Attractive prizes, including gold coins, were given away to the winners who tamed the bulls.

Similarly, the bulls which ducked the sportsmen and remained unconquered were also honoured with their owners getting prizes.

Tight security arrangements had been made with deployment of 1,200 police personnel, police said.

The sport was held in the presence of the members from the Animal Welfare Board of India and other officials.

The 11 injured sportsmen were immediately treated at the medical camp put up at the venue and sent home.

Jallikattu remained banned following a Supreme Court order in May 2014 before the state government last year brought an ordinance to facilitate its conduct at the height of a massive protest held at Marina Beach in Chennai and several places across the state. – NDTV

With 8,000 Temporary Workers, 71% Buses Back In Tamil Nadu

TAMIL NADU, Jan 08 – As the strike by state transport workers demanding a pay hike in Tamil Nadu entered its fourth day, sources in the government told NDTV that 71 per cent buses have resumed operations. After most workers defied the Madras High Court order directing them to report for work or face consequences, the government roped in 4,578 drivers and 3,496 conductors on a temporary basis to put its fleet of 22,000 buses back on track, a senior officer said.

However, in Chennai where the local bus transport is monopolised by the state-owned corporation, only 58 per cent buses were back.

There are about 1.4 lakh workers in the state’s transport department to handle a fleet of 22,500 buses. Transport workers are demanding salaries on par with drivers in other state government corporations. The unions want a 2.57 per cent hike, but the government, after 23 rounds of talks, has agreed for a 2.44 per cent raise. The state transport minister has ruled out further negotiations citing huge losses incurred by government transport corporations.

The officer added, “We incur a loss of Rs. 9 crore every day as we’ve not hiked tariff for years. We offer the cheapest travel compared to neighbouring states. The hike we’ve offered alone will cost an additional Rs. 1,000 crore a year.”

As over two crore commuters who use the bus services in the state have been suffering on account of the strike, opposition leader MK Stalin and actor Kamal Hassan have asked Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami to hold talks with the unions . However, the chief minister asked Mr Stalin to advise opposition-backed transport unions to resume work.

N Deepa, an IT professional, said transport workers’ demands are valid, but being an essential service they can’t go on strike unannounced. Commuters are being forced to pay more for autorickshaws and cabs. P Vellamal, a private school teacher, said, “The government should have anticipated this and have hired temporary workers instead of allowing the situation to escalate.”

Soundararajan, a union leader, said, “We apologise to commuters. We hope they would understand our plight. The government has pushed us to this. We are not responsible for the losses.” – NDTV

Tamil Nadu Fishermen Chased Away, Fishing Nets Snapped By Sri Lankan Navy

Sri Lankan Navy chased away Rameshwaram fishermen | Tamil Nadu | News7 Tamil

RAMESWARAM, Jan 08 – Over 4,000 Tamil Nadu fishermen were chased away by the Sri Lankan Navy which also snapped the fishing nets of 100 boats for allegedly fishing in their territorial waters off Katchatheevu islet.

Fishermen from Rameswaram and Mandapam had ventured into sea on Saturday on 800 boats and were fishing near Katchatheevu islet when the Lankan Navy arrived and told them to leave, Rameswaram Fishermen Association President P Sesuraja said.

They also snapped fishing nets of 100 boats before chasing them away, he alleged and sought the Centre’s intervention in resolving the contentious fishermen issue. All the fishermen returned to the shore this morning.

The mid-sea incident comes after a spate of detentions of the fishermen this month on charges of fishing in their territorial waters.

On January 4, as many as 13 fishermen from Thangachimadam near here were arrested by the island nation authorities for allegedly fishing in their waters off Katchatheevu islet.

Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam met a team of fishermen in Rameswaram on Saturday and assured them that the state government would take up with the Centre their grievances, including arrests by the Sri Lankan Navy. – NDTV

Boy, 10, Allegedly Hangs Self After Father Scolds Him For Not Taking Bath

COIMBATORE, Jan 01 – A 10-year-old boy in Coimbatore today allegedly hanged himself with a towel after his father reprimanded him for not taking bath early on the auspicious occasion of new year, the police said.

The boy, studying in the fifth standard, was playing with his friends when his father scolded him, they said.

The boy in a huff went to the bathroom with a towel.

The parents, who were waiting for their son for long, broke open the door and found him hanging from a towel on a pipe and immediately rushed him to a government hospital.

However, the doctors declared the boy brought dead and sent the body for postmortem, the police said. – NDTV

TTV Dhinakaran Submits Pen Drive On Jayalalithaa To Probe Panel

Late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa (File Photo | PTI)

CHENNAI, Jan 02 – Sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran has submitted a pen drive to a one man commission of inquiry probing late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s death. Mr Dhinakaran, who was last week summoned by the commission to give information in his knowledge about Jayalalithaa’s hospitalisation and treatment, submitted the pen drive through his advocate, commission sources said.

On the content, sources told PTI that it will be evaluated by the panel head Justice A Arumughaswamy.

On December 27, the commission had issued summons to Mr Dhinakaran, directing him to submit within a week, documents and evidence in his possession in respect of Jayalalithaa’s hospitalisation and medical treatment till her death.

Meanwhile, jailed AIADMK leader VK Sasikala’s niece Krishnapriya deposed before the Commission today for about four hours, sources added.

Ms Krishnapriya had recently said that a video purportedly showing Jayalalithaa in a hospital and released by Mr Dhinakaran loyalist P Vetrivel, was shot by Sasikala at the late leader’s request.

She had condemned the release of the video clip by Mr Vetrivel on December 20.

Asked about the response from Sasikala who has been issued a summons through prison authorities at Bengaluru, where she is serving a four year term in an assets case, sources said that they were expecting it.

Dr Sudha Seshayyan, who was privy to some information in respect of Jayalalithaa’s treatment and subsequent death, is expected to appear before the Commission tomorrow, following summons issued to her. – NDTV

MK Stalin Targets Rajinikant’s Spiritual Plank

Superstar Rajinikanth's Style Evolution - Rajinikanth Over the Years | GQ

CHENNAI, Jan 04 – DMK working president M K Stalin today said that Tamil Nadu was the cradle of the dravidian movement, where there was no place for spiritual politics as enunciated by top star Rajinikant.

He made the remark just after the top star called on his father and DMK chief M Karunanidhi at his residence in Chennai, days after announcing his entry into politics.

Citing Rajinikanth’s assertion of “spiritual politics”, Mr Stalin told reporters that Tamil Nadu was the cradle of the Dravidian movement.

“Some are creating an impression that Rajinikanth is to launch a party at the instigation of people who intend to decimate the Dravidian movement in Tamil Nadu.”

“Let me tell you this is the land of Periyar Anna (Dravidar Kazhagam founder E V Ramasamy Periyar) and Kalaignar (Karunanidhi)… such efforts in the past have ended in a fiasco.”

Asked if Rajinikanth sought DMK support, he said such things could be decided only during elections.

Announcing his political debut on December 31 last year, Rajinikanth batted for honesty in politics and good governance.

He said “everything needs to be changed” and declared that “spiritual politics” needs to be ushered in, sans shades of any caste or religion with transparency.

Mr Stalin said the top actor calling on Mr Karunanidhi was nothing new and that he had called on the nonaengarian leader some months back to enquire about his health.

Actor Vijayakanth too had called on Mr Karunanidhi and sought his blessings before launching his party, he said.

“Rajinikanth visiting Kalaignar is nothing new…It is no surprise.It was political decency.We gave him a warm welcome.”

He said the actor also enquired about the health of his mother Dayalu Ammal.

Just prior to Rajinikanth’s meeting with the DMK leader, former union minister and Mr Karunanidhi’s elder son M K Alagiri called on his father.

Rajinikanth during his meeting with Mr Karunanidhi, extended his new year greetings to him and apprised the DMK president and his aides of his political plunge.

Rajinikanth also enquired about the veteran leader’s health. – NDTV

13 Fishermen From Tamil Nadu Arrested By Sri Lanka Navy

13 Tami Nadu fishermen arrested by Sri Lankan Navy

RAMESWARAM, Jan 04 – The Sri Lankan Navy today arrested 13 Tamil Nadu fishermen for allegedly fishing in their territorial waters off Katchatheevu islet.

They also damaged a few boats and fishing equipment belonging to others using iron rods, before chasing them away.

Assistant Director of Fisheries, A Manikandan said, more than 2,000 fishermen from Thangachimadam had ventured into the sea on Wednesday in 523 boats and were fishing near Katchatheevu when the Lankan naval men came to the spot and arrested 13 fishermen.

They also snapped the fishing nets of 50 boats and damaged some boats using iron rods, he said.

The arrested fishermen were taken to Kangesanthurai port along with two boats.

On December 31, 13 fishermen from this island town were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy for allegedly fishing near Neduntheevu close to the island nation’s coast.

A total of 89 fishermen from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry had been released by Sri Lankan authorities last year. – NDTV

M Karunanidhi Visits DMK Party Office After Nearly A Year

We are not away from Periyar's principles - DMK Leader Karunanidhi - Red Pix

CHENNAI, DEC 17 – DMK president M Karunanidhi on Friday visited party headquarters Anna Arivalayam, his first in about a year since he fell ill last December.

The 93-year-old veteran was accompanied by his son and DMK working president MK Stalin, daughter Selvi and senior leader Durai Murugan, among others. The leader briefly interacted with them and reportedly signed a register there.

M Karunanidhi fell ill in October last year due to a drug-induced allergy. In December, he was admitted to a private hospital here twice.

He was admitted to the hospital for “optimisation of nutrition and hydration” in the first week of December and later, due to a throat and lung infection. He had undergone tracheostomy, a procedure to optimise breathing.

Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi had called on the DMK patriarch at his residence in December 2016. Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the DMK leader in November this year during the former’s visit to Chennai.

Earlier, Mr Karunanidhi had made a public appearance in October this year when he visited an exhibition held for the 75th anniversary of party mouthpiece Murasoli. – NDTV

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