Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan brushed aside allegations that his newly formed party, Makkal Needhi Maiam, was funded by Christian missionaries.

“It is ridiculous to say that Christian missionaries are financing me,” he said in Erode district, where he is meeting people as part of his tour across Tamil Nadu.

Haasan said that he can only laugh at the allegations because they are false.

“I did not come to politics as an actor; I have come to politics as a responsible citizen of the country,” the 63-year-old chief of Makkal Needhi Maiam said.

The actor said that the people were desirous of change and claimed that his party will be able to fulfil the expectations.

He also said that the manner in which women are being treated in Tamil Nadu is shameful.

Haasan has earlier faced criticism for his alleged “Hindu extremism” remark following which he had, on 1 February, clarified that he was not “anti-Hindu”.

“I am not an enemy of Hinduism. I look at Islam and Christianity in a similar way. I am not anybody’s enemy,” the veteran actor wrote in a column in the Tamil weekly Ananda Vikatan.

Haasan has been on a tour of the state ever since he launched his party on 21 February from Madurai. Massive crowds of supporters thronged to see him at Kavandapadi, Gobichettipalayam and Veerappanchatram during his visit to Erode.