Actor-turned-politician and Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) chief Kamal Haasan addresses media after former IAS officer Santosh Babu joins his party, in Chennai, on Dec 1, 2020.(PTI)
Actor-turned-politician and Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) chief Kamal Haasan addresses media after former IAS officer Santosh Babu joins his party, in Chennai, on Dec 1, 2020.(PTI)

Ex-IAS officer Santosh Babu joins Kamal Haasan’s party ahead of Tamil Nadu polls

A 1995 batch officer of the Tamil Nadu cadre, the former officer said he had pondered over Haasan’s offer to join the party for the past six months.
By Divya Chandrababu | Hindustan Times, Chennai
UPDATED ON DEC 01, 2020 05:53 PM IST

Former Indian Administrative Services officer Santhosh Babu joined actor-turned politician Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam (Centre for People’s Justice) on Tuesday. He has been appointed as the party’s general secretary.

The officer, who voluntarily retired from service in August after helming the Tamil Nadu Fibrenet Corporation (TANFINET) between 2018-19 in his capacity as principal secretary, Information Technology department, alleged he faced pressure during his stint as the top IT official.

Babu said that he had received an offer from the Prime Minister’s office’s last year to become the CEO of the MyGov platform but he had to turn it down to focus on his work in the state. “It was a privilege but I’ve done a huge amount of work as principal secretary IT with a goal to transform Tamil Nadu by bringing in a blockchain backbone with a state-wide database and ending in what is called predictive governance,” he said.

A 1995 batch officer of the Tamil Nadu cadre, the former officer said he had pondered over Haasan’s offer to join the party for the past six months. “I’m joining a party which is level headed and democratic,” Babu said.

He is the third ex-bureaucrat to join MNM after retired police officer AG Mourya and former IAS officer R Rengarajan, who have been with the party since its inception. “We are nurturing an atmosphere where talented people with integrity can join MNM,” Haasan said after Babu’s induction.

Haasan said that the Centre should have a dialogue with the farmers protesting in the capital. Speaking on Rajinikanth’s indecision over his political entry, Haasan reiterated that he is more concerned of his former co-star’s health than his politics.

The MNM contested in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and is strategising to put up candidates across all 234 assembly seats when Tamil Nadu goes to polls in early 2021.

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