Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan, who heads the Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM), announced on Monday (December 14) that he would contest the Tamil Nadu Assembly polls slated for next year.
He will announce the name of the constituency later, he said at a press conference in Madurai. “I will definitely contest the polls, but I will announce later from where I plan to contest,” he said.
The MNM had contested the 2019 Lok Sabha elections by fielding candidates in 38 parliamentary constituencies. It had also contested in the bypoll in 19 seats. However, Kamal had not individually stood for any of the elections.
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In 2019, he had said that he and actor Rajnikanth — who is going to launch his political party in January 2021 — would likely enter into an alliance. However, at the press conference, he said: “It’s been a year since I said that there is a possibility of us becoming allies. The right time should come for that. It would be right to answer this question after December 31.”
Kamal, however, denied that he and Rajnikanth are rivals. “We are not competitors even in cinema. People thought it would be nice if we compete and pit us both against each other like ‘golu dolls’. Both of us have our own paths.”
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Kamal also said that he would soon announce a third front alliance. He claimed that his political party would be run on the principle of honesty. “Honesty has no place in some political parties now. There are honest people in all parties. Our campaign has not been permitted because the ruling party knows that the support for us will increase due to anti-incumbency,” he said.
Kamal said he entered politics “to govern” and that his political journey should be towards that goal. He also talked about fighting corruption. “The government must be without corruption. There should not be any corruption across levels of power. We should work towards eradicating corruption from the top. Punishing lower-rung employees for corruption will not help in getting rid of corruption.”
To a question on why he didn’t enter politics before the demise of Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi, Kamal said, “MGR did ask me if I have political ambitions around 37 years ago. I joked to him saying, ‘Well, you are there for that. Let us (actors) do our work.’ LIke my father, I also did not think of politics when I was young.”