Kamal Haasan party launch highlights: Makkal Needhi Maiam is ‘for the people’

Kamal Haasan political party launch highlights: Marking his entry into politics, Kamal Haasan embarks on a state-wide tour today. His roadshow begins from the house of late President Abdul Kalam in Rameswaram and travels to Ramanathapuram, before culminating in Madurai.

Live updates: Kamal Haasan names his party Makkal Needhi Maiam, says 'it is for the people' Kamal Haasan at the party launch in Madurai. (Source: Shruti Haasan twitter account)

Veteran actor Kamal Haasan Wednesday launched his new political party, Makkal Needhi Maiam, which roughly means Centre for People’s Justice, at Madurai’s Othakadai Ground. He also unveiled the party’s symbol — six arms interlinked around a star.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal accompanied him to the event. Marking his entry into politics, Haasan said, “This is a party for the people. We have a responsibility. This isn’t a one day show.”

Kamal Haasan kicked off his day-long yatra from the house of late President A P J Abdul Kalam in Rameswaram. He travelled through Ramanathapuram, his hometown, before culminating in Madurai.

Haasan’s plan to interact with students of Kalam’s school was cancelled this morning due to opposition from the government and certain Hindu groups. Haasan addressed three public meetings before his Madurai rally.

Read highlights in Tamil 

Kamal Haasan political party launch highlights

  1. 11:19PM
    21 Feb, 18

    Express cartoon by Mika Aziz

  2. 9:20PM
    21 Feb, 18
    Will you give freebies if you get elected? 

    'I will not give you fish but will teach you to fish. I can create job opportunities that can make you philanthropists,' said Kamal Haasan. 

    'I have received so much love for the acting I have done. but what have I given in return? I felt guilty. I decided that the rest of my life is for the people, hence the impatience but the party will not end with me. If you look at our structure, we have the means to sustain for 3-4 generations,' he added. 

  3. 9:13PM
    21 Feb, 18
    Kamal Haasan takes questions from the public

    While answering the queries of the public, Kamal Haasan said  I'm not a star anymore, I'm the lamp in your house. You have to safeguard me from corrupt winds.

    When asked if the decision taken was because of the personal issues, he said " I'm enraged by the people's issues, I have to Vishwaroopam with them from now. I have multiple inspirations. Like how you worship different god's, I like Ambedkar, Gandhi, Pinarayi Vijayan, Arvind, Chandrababu Naidu etc. I won't be able to eliminate corruption alone. We can do it only together It takes small compromises. If you ensure your world is free of corruption,the effect will be manifold."

  4. 9:00PM
    21 Feb, 18

    "The 6 hands in the flag depict the 6 states. The star is the people. The party has been started with the people's justice in the centre, says Kamal Haasan. People asked me if I'm left or right -- as an answer, we have centre in our name. We are open to anything that will benefit the people," says Kamal Haasan. 

    "Unemployment can be eradicated. We will show that in the eight villages we have adopted. In case there are mistakes, we will rectify them. We will show people who have mocked us with results. People ask me what is the answer for Cauvery issue. If proper dialogue happens, anything can be solved," he added. 

  5. 8:55PM
    21 Feb, 18

    Makkal Needhi Maiam new party flag.( Source: Express Reporter-Arun Janardhan)

  6. 8:49PM
    21 Feb, 18
    Kamal Haasan addresses the gathering

    While addressing the gathering at Othakadai Ground  Kamal Haasan thanked Kejriwal for the political campaign.

    " For 37 years, you saw people who have been doing good social deed silently. When we first started to work for social welfare, we faced with several hassles. Let the past be past. But it won't be forgotten. I must thank you Kejriwal for starting my political campaign right from today." "I was talking to the Andhra CM and told him what I wanted to. He wished me and asked me to go ahead with my plans. I told him that despite differences in ideals, I'm a fan for him. He told me that 'isms' don't matter but people welfare matters," he added.

  7. 8:35PM
    21 Feb, 18

    Delhi is witnessing a transformation in every sector. Now I can see that people of TN are ready to throw out DMK and ADMK and bring Kamal Hassan to power. If you want corruption vote for them, if you want schools, hospitals, roads, electricity vote for Kamal, added Kejriwal 

  8. 8:33PM
    21 Feb, 18

    "It's a matter of great honour and privilege for me to be present at the launch of this great political alternative started by Kamal Hassan: I've been a great fan of Kamal as a film personality. But I stand here today because he is a real life hero. He is not only honest, but he also has a great vision. I admire his courage to speak up and fight against injustice and communal forces in the country. I want to congratulate Kamal ji and his entire team. But more than that, I want to congratulate the people of Tamil Nadu," says Arvind Kejriwal

  9. 8:27PM
    21 Feb, 18

    Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal joins Kamal Haasan for launch of party Makkal Needhi Maiam

    Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal joins Kamal Haasan for his party launch Makkal Needhi Maiam. (Source: Maiamofficial/twitter)

  10. 8:23PM
    21 Feb, 18

    Kerala CM Pinarayi Vinayan's video message wishing Kamal is being played on stage.  "I believe Kamal's entry into public life will enrich the political arena of TN. I hope he will uphold the values of secularism, democracy and pluralistic society where all voices are heard."

  11. 8:06PM
    21 Feb, 18
    What is Makkal Needhi Maiam

    Makkal Needhi Maiam: The party symbol, six arms interlinked around a star at the centre, is in the colours of red, white and black. The party flag, which is primarily white, will carry the symbol along with the party name.  Read to know more 

  12. 7:55PM
    21 Feb, 18

    All the district bearers are welcomed and being introduced on stage at the party launch by Kamal Haasan. 

  13. 7:39PM
    21 Feb, 18

    "You must be an example to the present day political system  and I will be seeking your suggestion rather than giving you speeches."

    "I have shown you a morsel of the government I can cook for people here. The people who have gathered here are people who have enraged by the corruption prevalent in the state," says Kamal Haasan 

  14. 7:34PM
    21 Feb, 18

    The party name has been announced. Makkal Neethi Maiyam which means People's Justice Society.  "This is a party for the people. We have a responsibility. This isn't a one day show," says Kamal Haasan. 

  15. 7:31PM
    21 Feb, 18
    Kamal Haasan hoists flag

    Kamal Haasan has hoisted the party flag at the  Othakadai Ground. The flag is a circle of hands holding one another with colours Red, White and Black. 

  16. 7:26PM
    21 Feb, 18

    Kamal Haasan along with Arvind Kejriwal has reached the Othakadi groud in Madurai where his party Nammavar will be launched. 

  17. 6:21PM
    21 Feb, 18

    Kamal Haasan will shortly launch his party  Makkal Needhi Maiam in Madurai today.  Followers have already gathered in flocks to support the actor turned politician. 

  18. 1:54PM
    21 Feb, 18
    Moily calls Haasan's political prospects 'marginal'

    Senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily says, "I don't think there will be much (political) space left for other regional parties unless they align with these mainstream regional parties (DMK and AIADMK)," reports PTI. He continues, "I think the prospects for Kamal Haasan's party is very marginal. I don't think there is much space left by these two dominant regional forces." Moily adds, "Unless they (Kamal Haasan's party) have a regional agenda of their own which is better than DMK and AIADMK, what space they will occupy? He (Kamal Haasan) must have thought AIADMK will collapse, and he can occupy that space, I don't think that is happening."

  19. 1:41PM
    21 Feb, 18
    Haasan visits Kalam memorial

    Haasan is visiting late President A P J Abdul Kalam's memorial in Rameswaram. Earlier today, he visited the former President's residence, and interacted with his brother and sister-in-law. Haasan today said he was greatly inspired by Kalam. Earlier, he said he shared the vision of Kalam who dreamt of a “good Tamil Nadu”.

  20. 1:20PM
    21 Feb, 18
    Beyond the News: A leader or a coordinator?

    Kamal Haasan was never a mass hero like Rajinikanth or Vijayakanth. So his political entry too may not attract thousands of fans to his rallies. However, here's why his political entry too is dreamy and simple. Click here to read.

  21. 1:14PM
    21 Feb, 18
    Cricketer Ashwin hopes for ‘massive change’ with Haasan's debut

    Here's what the India off-spinner has to say about Haasan's entry into politics. A Tamilian himself, Ashwin is known to be extremely vocal on social media, using the platform to voice his opinion on social as well as sports-related issues. 

    Read more here.

  22. 1:09PM
    21 Feb, 18
    Recent political statements by Haasan

    Here are three recent political statements made by Haasan:

    On the Supreme Court verdict in the Cauvery river water dispute, Haasan called on Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to maintain amity. He added, “I am disappointed that Tamil Nadu has got a lower share of water but I think it is also important that we conserve and utilise the water that has been apportioned to the state.”

    Following the announcement of the Union Budget, Haasan said it showed that the Centre's attention has only "slightly" turned towards farmers and the rural economy.

    On the RK Nagar bypoll, Haasan alleged money power was behind sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dinakaran's win. He said, “RK Nagar bypoll is a big stain on Tamil Nadu politics; it is a big stain on Indian democracy. I won’t call this purchased win even a scam….this is a daylight crime.”

  23. 12:45PM
    21 Feb, 18

    This morning, Prashant Bhushan wished Haasan for taking the plunge into TN politics. Taking to Twitter, the advocate added that the state "desperately needs something far better than what DMK, ADMK, Cong & BJP have to offer." 

  24. 11:46AM
    21 Feb, 18
    Haasan on AIADMK govt

    While he's been meeting leaders of different political parties across the southern states, Haasan has not held a single meet with anyone from the ruling party AIADMK. When asked why, he said he does not like this govt. “I don’t want to meet them,” he said.

    In a letter to the public at the beginning of this year, Haasan has written that his purpose in life is to 'challenge the status quo that has been plaguing the politics of Tamil Nadu for some time now.' He added, 'Let's question mediocrity and raise the bar on governance and welfare for the people of TN. This journey is intended towards that goal. Join hands with me to empower our country and state.'

    Read Haasan's entire letter below.

  25. 11:31AM
    21 Feb, 18
    Stalin on Haasan's party

    DMK Working President M K Stalin, last evening, wrote a letter to the party cadre, in which he said described Haasan's new venture as a paper flower and the DMK as a banyan tree, which, with strong roots and branches, cannot be shaken. “As the climate changes, there will be a variety of flowers blooming but without any fragrance, and they wither too, very soon,” he wrote. Read more here.

  26. 11:12AM
    21 Feb, 18

    If you're just joining us, here's a quick update on what's happening: Haasan began his phased tour across Tamil Nadu today. He is travelling from Rameshwaram to Ramanathapuram and finally to Madurai. Addressing the media a few minutes ago, he said he is proud of his political journey. He said he was inspired by former President Abdul Kalam — whos residence he visited — and said he is a fan of Mahatma Gandhi. Haasan said he will work to ensure peoples' lives are improved.

    Haasan has been in touch with the chief ministers of Kerala and Andhra. While the Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan is sending his a video message wishing him luck for his political journey, the Andhra CM has reportedly reached out to him offering help and advice.

  27. 10:47AM
    21 Feb, 18
    Delhi CM to attend Madurai rally

    Speaking to the media, Haasan says Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will attend his rally in Madurai this evening, where he will launch his political outfit and its flag, apart from spelling out the objectives of his party.

  28. 10:44AM
    21 Feb, 18
    Haasan interacts with the media

    Addressing the media, Haasan says he hopes to hoist his party flag infront of all his supporters. On Kalam, he says the former president was a great source of inspiration for him. Regarding his acting career, Haasan says he is proud to have been in the industry, but adds that this political journey gives him more pride.

    Haasan addressing a rally in Rameshwaram (Express Photo/Arun Janardhanan)

  29. 9:53AM
    21 Feb, 18

    From the ground: supporters of veteran Tamil actor Kamal Haasan are out in large numbers in support.

  30. 9:41AM
    21 Feb, 18

    Here are some pictures from Haasan's visit to late President A P J Abdul Kalam's residence. He met Kalam's brother and sister-in-law as well.

    Haasan at former President Abdul Kalam's residence

  31. 9:39AM
    21 Feb, 18
    Haasan interacts with fishermen

    Haasan addresses the fishermen community in Rameshwaram. Haasan said he has learnt about the problems faced by the community through media reports, but wanted to hear from the fishiermen himself. He targeted the previous government for making false promises to fishermen, adding that they did not live up to them and "diverted" the issue when confronted, reported PTI.

  32. 9:38AM
    21 Feb, 18
    Guest list for grand party launch

    The guest list this evening includes Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, as well as Bihar and Kerala CMs Nitish Kumar and Pinarayi Vijayan. While Kejriwal may attend the event, the other two CMs may send video messages as they could not reach Madurai.

  33. 9:31AM
    21 Feb, 18

    Dancers perform at Haasan's rally in Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday (Express Photo/Arun Janardhanan)

  34. 9:21AM
    21 Feb, 18
    Haasan's scheduled today

    Beginning today, Haasan embarks on a phased tour through Tamil Nadu. Marking his entry into politics, the tour aims to meet people across the state. "It is neither an act of rebellion nor is it a gathering for glamour," he said, ahead of the tour, "it is to truly understand as to what the needs of my people are, what is affecting them, what their aspirations are."

  35. 9:03AM
    21 Feb, 18
    Haasan visits residence of Abdul Kalam

    On visiting the late President A P J Abdul Kalam's residence, Haasan says, "Glad to start my journey from a great man's simple abode." The veteran Tamil actor began his tour through Tamil Nadu from Rameshwaram this morning, where he met the former President's brother and sister-in-law.

  36. 8:57AM
    21 Feb, 18
    Haasan's pick

    At his rally in Madurai, Haasan may announce the list of office-bearers for the party's district committees. A source told The Indian Express, "There are intellectuals, activists and anti-corruption groups guiding and advising him, but he is unlikely to project a second leader next to him in the initial stages."Read more here: Haasan to launch his political party but no word yet on its other key faces

  37. 8:52AM
    21 Feb, 18

    Haasan, ahead of his debut in politics, met a host of senior politicians last week. The list included DMK supremo M Karunanidhi and party Working President MK Stalin, CPI’s R Nallakannu and DMDK chief Vijayakanth. He also met his contemporary Rajinikanth, who has also announced his entry into the political fray soon.

    Haasan with DMK chief M Karunanidhi and party Working President MK Stalin (Express Photo)