In setback to Kamal Haasan’s MNM, senior leader joins BJP

Arunachalam, a founding member of MNM, says he supports farm laws, which MNM has opposed

Haasan on Wednesday watched Ponniyin Selvan with the cast and crew at a special screening in Chennai.  

Months ahead of Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu, Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Nedhi Maiam (MNM) suffered a jolt on Friday (December 25) as its senior leader A. Arunachalam joined the BJP in the presence of Union Minister Prakash Javadekar.

Arunachalam is a founding member of the MNM and is from a village in Tuticorin district. He said he took the decision after Haasan refused to support the Centre’s farm laws.

Addressing the media, Arunachalam said he felt blessed to join the saffron party on the birth anniversary of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Arunachalam said being from a farming family, he knew the benefits of the new laws. “When I asked the MNM leadership to back the Centre’s decision, they refused,” he said.

Also read: AIADMK betraying people by supporting farm bills: Kamal Haasan

Kamal Haasan started his party’s election campaign earlier this month. He has been a critic of the BJP and has ruled out any possibility of joining hands with the Dravidian parties for the Tamil Nadu Assembly polls. The actor-turned-politician has said he is open to allying with Rajinikanth, who is due to launch his party in January.

The MNM chief also recently released a 7-point governance plan for Tamil Nadu. It includes schemes such as ‘Green Channel Government’, ‘Online Homes’, ‘Providing Urban Opportunities in Rural Areas’ and ‘Women enrichment.’

He has also assured ‘payment’ to homemakers for their work at home, a computer with high-speed internet to all households and the transformation of farmers to farm entrepreneurs. He also promised to rejuvenate the rivers.

Haasan launched MNM in February 2018 and the party faced last year’s Lok Sabha elections, but did not win any seat.