Veteran Tamil film actor and Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) founder Kamal Haasan has sought to position himself as an alternative to AIADMK and DMK in Tamil Nadu during the Assembly election next year.
The actor-politician, whose fledgling party polled below 4% of vote share in its electoral debut in last year’s LS election, is hoping to head a third front. Haasan, who interacted with his party functionaries from the districts over the last 2 days, told journalists in Chennai on Tuesday he saw the potential for a “Delhi-type” political change in Tamil Nadu in 2021. Consequently, he ruled out joining the alliances headed by the ruling AIADMK or the principal opposition party DMK. The MNM he felt was capable of leading an alternative front.
Analysts had floated the possibility of the MNM — after its poor show in the LS poll — joining the alliance led by DMK. Such proposition had gained some weightage in the last few days after his co-star Rajinikanth indicated that he could give up his political debut due to health reasons. “Kamal Haasan had last year urged Rajinikanth to join hands with him and the latter too indirectly hinted such a ‘miracle’ could happen as and when he launched his party. With Rajini now dragging his feet, it was believed MNM might join DMK. Haasan has now put an end to such speculation,” said an analyst.
According to a second line MNM leader, the party district functionaries had also told Haasan he should not go with DMK. “In the last election though we fared poorly, our candidates polled over 10% votes in certain urban constituencies such as South Chennai, North Chennai and Coimbatore. This shows the people are craving for a change and want an alternative to the 2 Dravidian majors. We believe the MNM has now grown enough to lead a third front with like-minded parties,” he said.