Kamal Haasan, Dhinakaran opt out of Vellore Lok Sabha electionhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chennai/kamal-haasan-dhinakaran-opt-out-of-vellore-ls-poll/

Kamal Haasan, Dhinakaran opt out of Vellore Lok Sabha election

With both MNM and AMMK out of the race, the election will be a direct contest between DMK’s Kathir Anand and AIADMK-NDA alliance candidate A C Shanmugam.

Kamal Haasan, Makkal Needhi Maiam, Tamil Nadu Lok Sabha elections, DMK, AIADMK, Vellore Constituency, Kathir Anand, AC Shanmugam, Indian Express News
Kamal Haasan’s political outfit MNM made its electoral debut in 2019. (Express Photo)

Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) party Thursday decided not to field a candidate for the Vellore parliamentary election scheduled for August 5. 

In a press release, the MNM party said the parliamentary election in Vellore was postponed on the complaint of cash distribution and several cases were filed related to that. With no progress in those cases, an election again in the constituency will only reduce people’s faith in the Election Commission, it said.

“Gaining people’s trust is very important and Makkal Needhi Maiam is progressing towards that. As the party is working hard to bring a change of government in the upcoming assembly election, the executive committee of the party has decided not to take part in this election,” the statement read.

Haasan’s MNM party made its electoral debut in 2019. They came third in 12 Lok Sabha constituencies in Tamil Nadu. In Sriperumbudur constituency, MNM’s Lok Sabha candidate advocate Sridhar secured close to lakh votes and pushed other Third front alternative parties like TTV Dhinakaran’s AMMK and Seeman’s NTK down.

Advertising

Despite performing well in urban areas, MNM couldn’t able to capture the pulse of rural voters. The party chief Kamal Haasan said the reason behind their performance in rural areas was largely due to lack of poverty and awareness and assured to work hard in those areas by holding Gram Panchayat meetings.

The Lok Sabha elections in Vellore constituency were originally scheduled to be held alongside other 38 constituencies in Tamil Nadu on April 18, 2019. It was rescinded after President Ramnath Govind approved EC’s recommendation to cancel the election as large amounts of cash were seized in the Vellore district.

The Income Tax officials carried out a raid on April 1 leading to the seizure of 11.53 crores from a cement warehouse owned by the family of DMK treasurer Durai Murugan. An FIR was filed by the Tamil Nadu Police against Durai Murugan’s son and DMK’s Vellore LS candidate Kathir Anand, and two others for their alleged links over cash distribution.
AMMK too decided not to contest the Vellore poll

For the first time in Tamil Nadu, an election to the Lok Sabha constituency was canceled over the use of money power. In 2017, the EC countermanded elections to the RK Nagar assembly seat over abuse of money power, distribution of gifts, etc. In 2016, the assembly elections to Aravakurichi and Thanjavur were postponed for similar reasons.

TTV Dhinakaran, who won the bypolls then as an independent candidate, announced on July 8 that Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) will not contest in the Vellore election. He said his party has decided not to contest any election until the outfit (AMMK) is registered as a party and allotted a permanent symbol by the Election Commission. The AMMK candidates contested as independent candidates in the Lok Sabha and bypoll elections but suffered a humiliating defeat.

With both MNM and AMMK out of the race, the election will be a direct contest between DMK’s Kathir Anand and AIADMK-NDA alliance candidate A C Shanmugam. The DMK-led alliance swept the parliamentary election winning 37 out of 38 seats.