Actor turned politician Kamal Haasan, founder of Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM), attends a media briefing ahead of the Tamil Nadu assembly elections in Chennai on Saturday. (AFP PHOTO).
Actor turned politician Kamal Haasan, founder of Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM), attends a media briefing ahead of the Tamil Nadu assembly elections in Chennai on Saturday. (AFP PHOTO).

Smaller parties call on Kamal Haasan; prep for assembly polls due next month

  • On Friday, a social organisation against corruption, Satta Panchayat Iyakkam joined hands with MNM. Former MLA Pazha Karuppiah who has been with both the DMK and AIADMK also joined MNM and will be contesting on the fledgling party’s ticket.
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 11:49 PM IST

Amidst the buzz of Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) looking at forming a third front, the actor-turned-politician said that the party’s first list of candidates would be announced on March 7 for the upcoming assembly polls slated for April 6 in Tamil Nadu.

On Friday, a social organisation against corruption, Satta Panchayat Iyakkam joined hands with MNM. Former MLA Pazha Karuppiah who has been with both the DMK and AIADMK also joined MNM and will be contesting on the fledgling party’s ticket.

Haasan also held talks with Samathuva Makkal Katchi (SMK) president and actor R Sarathkumar along with members of Indhiya Jananayaga Katchi (IJK) on Saturday for a potential alliance. AISMK after walking out of the AIADMK alliance a day ago joined hands with IJK which walked out from the DMK coalition. “I have travelled with AIADMK for the past 10 years but there were no talks with us. Even DMDK’s Premalatha spoke about the delay. Hence, we have decided to form an alliance with good people and similar ideology,” Sarathkumar said at a press briefing.

Sarathkumar had also met expelled AIADMK leader V K Sasikala on February 24. Sasikala, a close aide of late chief minister J Jayalalithaa is hoping to reclaim the AIADMK. Sasikala’s nephew TTV Dhinakaran floated Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) in 2018 after their expulsion in 2017. Dhinakaran is the chief ministerial candidate for AMMK who hopes that Sasikala will merge the factions.

Haasan floated the MNM in 2018 as an alternative to the Dravidian forces of DMK and AIADMK. MNM made its political debut in in 2019 parliamentary elections registering a 3.8% vote share. Haasan will be the chief ministerial candidate for MNM. The actor-turned-politician will start the next leg of campaign for the party on March 3.

Meanwhile, R Arjunamurthy, who was formerly with the BJP and later joined actor Rajinikanth, floated his own political party, the Indhiya Makkal Munnetra Katchi, on Saturday. Rajinikanth announced he would launch a political party in December 2020 but backed out citing health issues. Arjunamurthy invited Rajinikanth’s fans to join. Rajinikanth released a congratulatory statement saying, “I extend my wishes to Arjunamurthy who has floated a new independent party.”

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