Makkal Needhi Maiam chief Kamal Haasan will launch the second phase of his party’s campaign for the Tamil Nadu election today from Chennai’s Alandur, from where he is likely to contest the April 6 election, sources have said.
Mr Haasan has chosen this metro constituency for two reasons – this was MGR’s seat from 1967 to 1976, then called Parangimalai constituency, and in the 2019 Lok Sabha election the actor-turned-politician’s party MNM polled nearly 10 per cent votes in urban pockets.
From day one, Mr Haasan has been staking claim to MGR’s legacy and reaching out to MGR’s followers, alleging the ruling AIADMK, which claims to follow in his footsteps, did not fulfil his dreams.
Polling nearly 10 per cent votes in the 2019 general election in urban pockets clearly showed that support for the party is rapidly growing in those areas, though across the state MNM clocked only around 4 per cent votes.
“I can always invoke his (MGR’s) name and get excited. Our party’s tagline Nazhai Namadhe is the name of his film,” Mr Haasan recently told NDTV.
“MGR himself had invoked chief minister Kamaraj’s name, though he did not belong to his idea and he also copied his idea (noon meal scheme). I was close to him, I dare invoke his name,” Mr Haasan said.
He will address a meeting in Mylapore at 8 pm today.
His party has been interviewing candidates and will release a list of names on March 7. Seen as a first-of-its-kind, the party launched an online system to for people to apply as candidates.
Though there is a buzz that the DMK and MNM explored alliance possibilities, both have denied it. Some regional outfits including Satta Panchayat and Vision India Party, launched by late President APJ Abdul Kalam’s advisor V Ponraj, have joined the MNM as allies. Former AIADMK MLA Pala Karuppiah too has joined Mr Haasan’s party.
The MNM is raising corruption, jobs, developing villages and people-friendly e-governance as key issues. It has promised salaries to homemakers and free computers with internet at all homes as a public resource to help people access government schemes easily.