Kamal Haasan’s MNM joins DMK alliance, gets one Rajya Sabha seat

The actor-politician will campaign for INDIA bloc across the country

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin and Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) leader Kamal Haasan during a meeting in Chennai | PTI Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin and Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) leader Kamal Haasan during a meeting in Chennai | PTI

Actor-politician and Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) founder Kamal Haasan on Saturday finalized an electoral tie-up with the DMK-led alliance in Tamil Nadu. The DMK agreed to allot one Rajya Sabha seat to Kamal in 2025. In turn, the actor will campaign for the DMK and the INDIA alliance in all the 39 constituencies in Tamil Nadu and the lone seat in Puducherry.

Kamal, who was demanding a seat for himself to contest the general elections, finally settled for the Rajya Sabha seat after Chief Minister M.K. Stalin spoke to him, sources said.

They said Kamal had demanded one Lok Sabha seat and a Rajya Sabha ticket when the seat sharing talks began with the DMK alliance. It is said that Kamal wanted to contest the Lok Sabha polls in his party’s ‘torch light’ symbol from either Coimbatore or Chennai South. While Chennai South is considered a DMK’s fiefdom, the CPI(M) did not want to compromise on its sitting seat in Coimbatore. 

Now, by aligning with the DMK, Kamal will be one of the star campaigners for the INDIA bloc across the country.

Talking to reporters outside the DMK headquarters in Chennai, Kamal said that he joined hands with the DMK for the sake of the country and not for any post. 

Apparently, Kamal who was once a staunch critic the DMK, came close to the Dravidian party after party scion Udhayanidhi Stalin’s Red Giant movies produced the blockbuster Vikram. The film was a huge box office hit and helped Kamal get back into mainstream cinema after a break. It was after Vikram’s success that he signed a few more movies with ace directors like Mani Ratnam.

On the other side, his party lost its political space completely as most of the known faces had either quit politics or switched to the DMK or the AIADMK. It may be noted that in 2018, Kamal floated his party as an alternative to the AIADMK and the DMK. 

Kamal, who used to vehemently attack the DMK, once said that his party will never align with the ‘Kazhagams’ (the dravidian majors in Tamil Nadu). He even said that his MNM would only align with the people of Tamil Nadu.

The MNM polled 3.72 per cent votes in 2019 Lok Sabha polls and 2.52 per cent in the 2021 assembly elections. Kamal spoiled the victory of the DMK and the Congress in a few constituencies in West Tamil Nadu, particularly Coimbatore South where the actor himself contested. 

MNM’s 2.5 per cent comes from the urban elite which had voted for Jayalalithaa and the AIADMK in the past.

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