Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) president Kamal Haasan joined the voices against the appointment of the Vice Chancellor of Tamil Nadu’s prestigious Anna University.

On Thursday, Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit appointed MK Surappa as the VC of Anna University for three years. Surappa is from Karnataka, the state with which Tamil Nadu has been in a dispute over the Cauvery water sharing issue.

In a post written in English on Twitter, Haasan wrote, “We asked for water from Karnataka and we get a vice-chancellor from Karnataka instead.”

“The gulf between people and the government cannot be more obvious. Are they taunting us so we react adversely? I wonder what their game plan is,” the 63-year-old actor-turned-politician tweeted.

 

He later clarified that his remark was not against the Chancellor but a hilarious quip at the central and state governments.

Surappa had previously served as the Director of the Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar, for six years from 2009 to 2015.

His appointment has triggered the ire of opposition parties in the state, who have been agitating against the NDA-led Centre and the state government led by All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) over the setting up of the Cauvery Management Board (CMB).

PMK founder S Ramadoss said that Surappa’s appointment does not respect the feelings of the Tamil people. Condemning the move, Ramadoss said that he will mobilise the varsity’s students to protest against the appointment.

He also said that no Tamilian was appointed as Vice Chancellor for Central University of Tamil Nadu, Thiruvarur, Pondicherry University and The Indian Maritime University for a long time.

In a Facebook post late Thursday, DMK leader MK Stalin said at a time when the Cauvery water issue was at its helm, the appointment of Surappa was not acceptable.

Stalin said that the no attempts should be made to ‘saffronise’ Tamil Nadu universities while insulting the “sons of the soil”.

Doctorate in Metallurgical Engineering, Surappa has 30 years of teaching experience of which 24 years were spent at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru.

(With inputs from agencies.)