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Congress asks Kamal Hassan to join grand alliance in Tamil Nadu, DMK differs

Congress has extended an olive branch to actor-politician Kamal Hassan to join the grand alliance, a day after he announced that his party Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) would go solo in the Lok Sabha elections.

india Updated: Feb 08, 2019 20:02 IST
M Manikandan
M Manikandan
Hindustan Times, Chennai
Congress has extended an olive branch to actor-politician Kamal Hassan to join the grand alliance, a day after he announced that his party Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) would go solo in the Lok Sabha elections.
Congress has extended an olive branch to actor-politician Kamal Hassan to join the grand alliance, a day after he announced that his party Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) would go solo in the Lok Sabha elections. (AFP)
         

Congress has extended an olive branch to actor-politician Kamal Hassan to join the grand alliance, a day after he announced that his party Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) would go solo in the Lok Sabha elections.

The move has not gone down well with Congress’s partner in Tamil Nadu, DMK, which Kamal has said was corrupt a day earlier. Besides calling ruling AIADMK also corrupt, he had urged Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) of Ramadoss and DMDK of actor Vijayakanth not to have any truck with the Dravidian majors.

The DMK which had ignored the actor so far, was quick to respond, describing him as one who could not take a political stand on any issue.

However, playing the role of a peacemaker, newly appointed TNCC president KS Alagiri appealed to the actor to come forward to join the DMK-Congress coalition.

“If Kamal wants to protect secularism, he should make an alliance with Congress-DMK coalition. If he comes to our alliance, we will consider his demands,” Alagiri told newspersons.

Also read: Rajinikanth meets Kamal Haasan

While Congress has openly invited the MNM, the DMK appears to be in no mood to accommodate Kamal.

“We have already made clear our stand that we are not ready to join hands with Kamal. We cannot tolerate his diatribe against the DMK and terming our party as corrupt,” said R S Bharathi, organising secretary, DMK.

Vaagai Chandrasekaran, a DMK legislator and a celluloid star of the 80s, told HT that by criticising the DMK, Kamal was trying to satisfy certain vested interests and gain political mileage.

“Kamal has tried to forge an alliance with Congress. Since Congress has shut the doors to the MNM, he has been criticising DMK. It shows his political immaturity,” he said.

“Kamal says that our party is corrupt. However, the same actor had praised our late leader M Karunanidhi on several occasions. While Kamal has been praising our late leader Karunanidhi as one who inspired him to take an interest in Tamil, he had conveniently forgotten that it was the patriarch who had led the party for over five decades,” Chandrasekar said.

Speaking about Congress’s invite Kamal, a senior party leader said, “When Thirunavukkarasar was the TNCC president, Kamal had engaged him in talks and had hoped to get at least one seat for the MNM from the Congress quota. Now, things have changed with a new president for the TNCC. Also, Kamal was not promised anything by the Congress high command. However, the new chief has welcomed him to the DMK-Congress fold. The ball is now in Kamal’s court.”

However, MNM sources said they were never interested in joining hands with the DMK or the AIADMK.

“Kamal has already said that he is ready to forge an alliance with Congress if the national party ends its ties with the Dravidian party. Since Congress is not ready to lose DMK’s friendship, we have decided to contest on our own in all the 40 seats including Puducherry,” said an executive committee member of MNM who did not wish to be identified as he is not authorised to speak to the media.

First Published: Feb 08, 2019 19:59 IST

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