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Monday, April 12, 2021

Tamil Nadu polls: On debut, Kamal Haasan’s MNM to fight from 154 seats

Haasan’s party, in its debut assembly polls, will be contesting from 154 seats. Of the remaining 80 constituencies, both AISMK and IJK will be contesting on 40 seats each.

Written by Janardhan Koushik | Chennai |
Updated: March 10, 2021 3:02:06 pm
Makkal Needhi Maiam manifesto, Kamal Haasan mainfesto, Makkal Needhi Maiam, AIADMK mainfesto, Tamil Nadu Assembly Elections 2021, DMK mainfesto, indian expressKamal Haasan was the first to promise what he called in December last 'payment' to homemakers for their work. (Express photo)

Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) has signed a memorandum of understanding with actor Sarathkumar’s All India Samathuva Makkal Katchi (AISMK) and SRM group founder TR Pachamuthu’s Indhiya Janayaga Katchi (IJK).

Haasan’s party, in its debut assembly polls, will be contesting from 154 seats. Of the remaining 80 constituencies, both AISMK and IJK will be contesting on 40 seats each.

The statement issued by MNM reads that the parties have come together to bring about an overall change in Tamil Nadu. “With the common agenda of restoring the pride and glory of Tamil Nadu, they have decided to embark on a long-lasting journey together. The primary goal of this platform is to contest the upcoming assembly elections with a promise for change and emerge victorious to form the government,” the statement read.

AISMK and IJK leaders met Haasan in February and hoped that MNM would enter into a poll-pact with them. During his party’s sixth general council meet, Sarathkumar openly endorsed Haasan as their chief ministerial candidate. Though the allies issued statements confirming that they have struck an alliance with MNM, Haasan kept his cards close to his chest. Even until Sunday, he did not confirm his alliance partners.

Speaking to, Makkal Needhi Maiam’s governing council member CK Kumaravel said many smaller parties and NGOs who had been operating individually will be part of the MNM alliance and they will contest in the seats allotted to their allies. “There are many smaller outfits who are doing welfare works Individually, they will join hands with the MNM alliance. We have allotted 40 seats each to our major allies AISMK and IJK, these smaller organisations will be provided an opportunity to contest in those party symbols. The objective is how together we can win against the Dravidian parties,” he said.

Kumaravel further added that though the Congress high command in New Delhi was interested in joining hands with MNM, however, the second-rung leaders and functionaries at district level were more concerned about securing an MLA seat rather than strengthening their party.

“The greed of the people in local units has eclipsed the vision and the long-term need for the society, which Congress high command wanted to achieve. We were in constant touch with them, we were making attempts to impress them, we saw how Rahul Gandhi was welcomed all over the state. But people in their party at the district level were more focused on becoming an MLA and don’t want to strengthen the party. That is the problem in politics, everyone has selfish-agenda, that’s why you need a new party like MNM, that’s why you need a neo polity culturist like Kamal Haasan. I think Congress missed the bus,” he said.

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