Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) chief Kamal Haasan will contest Tamil Nadu Elections 2021 from Coimbatore South assembly constituency. This means the actor-politician will be taking on a BJP and Congress candidate. It is said that BJP might field the national president of the party's women's wing Vanathi Srinivasan.
“Coimbatore is a place that is close to my heart. ‘Kongu sezhithaal, engum sezhikum’ (If Kongu region flourishes, everywhere else would flourish too) is a proverb. It is sad that it has become a corrupt capital now. I plan on changing that. My voice will ring like the sound of the conch from Coimbatore in the Assembly. It is in people’s hand for that to happen,” Kamal said following the announcement of his constituency.
Kamal also shared that it was his late father’s wish for him to become a leader one day. “I’m reminded of my father at this moment. He was inspired by Gandhi to enter politics. We did not understand it back then. He was my guru for oratorical skills. He trained me from a very young age. My family members were quite apprehensive and he would say it was for me to become a leader one day. My brother Chandrahasan was the one who stood between me, politics and my education. His wish was for me to become an IAS first and then enter politics. Although I could not fulfil one part of it, I have many IAS officers in my party,” he said.
On March 10 (Wednesday), the actor-turned-politician announced the first list of 70 party candidates for the April 6 Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu. The key names among them are former bureaucrat Santosh Babu, who will contest from Villivakkam; V Ponraj, ex-secretary to former President APJ Abdul Kalam, who will contest from Anna Nagar; environment activist Padmapriya, who will fight from Maduravoyal and social worker Sneha Mohandoss, who will contest from Saidapet. The MNM has struck an alliance with actor Sarath Kumar's AISMK and IJK. Both allies will contest in 40 seats.
Confirming an electoral alliance with the MNM, AISMK's Sarath Kumar had earlier said that Kamal Haasan will be its chief ministerial candidate.
"In principle, we have decided to journey together. Kamal Haasan will be the chief minister candidate for the emerging alliance," Kumar had stated.
Fighting corruption and development of villages as his key issues, Kamal has promised government salary for homemakers, computers with Internet to all homes as a common resource and creation of 10 lakh jobs in five years, among others as his electoral promises. In the 2019 Lok Sabha election, MNM secured around 4 per cent votes. In cities and urban pockets, it had polled 10 per cent votes.
Meanwhile, AIADMK cadres staged protests across Tamil Nadu yesterday over seat allocation with protestors blocking Pamban-Madurai highway, while a section of cadre of the DMK staged a protest in Aranthangi in Pudukottai on Wednesday when word spread that the party was planning to allot the Arthangi Assembly constituency to the Congress, as part of the seat-sharing arrangement.
The Tamil Nadu assembly polls will be held in a single phase on April 6 and the counting on May 2. The main contest is between AIADMK, which is hoping for an hattrick and DMK that wants to wrest power after 10 years. This is the first election after the demise of legendary political leaders Jayalalithaa and M Karunanidhi.