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Lok Sabha polls 2019: Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam to announce candidates on March 20

File photo of Kamal Haasan. Photograph:( Twitter )

WION Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India Mar 18, 2019, 01.16 PM (IST) Written By: Sidharth MP

On March 20, Actor-turned politician Kamal Haasan will reveal the list of his party Makkal Needhi Maiam’s candidates who are to contest in the Lok Sabha polls and By-elections to Tamil Nadu’s 18 vacant assembly seats, a statement from his party said.

These elections will be the poll debut of Kamal Haasan’s party which was started in February 2018. Recently the party was allotted the ‘Battery Torch’ symbol by the Election Commission. 

After the demise of Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in late 2016, Kamal had become very vocal in his public criticism of her party, the AIADMK. On 21st February last year, after visiting Former President APJ Abdul Kalam’s residence in Tamil Nadu’s Southern district Rameshwaram, Kamal launched his party in Madurai in the presence of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. 

In late 2017, Rajinikanth also expressed his desire to enter politics and unified his fan clubs under the banner “Rajini Makkal Mandram”. But Rajini hasn’t made any major political moves in 2018, save for a few statements that seemed to be in support of the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, Rajini issued statements to clear the air about his political journey and stated that his party won’t be contesting the Lot Sabha polls or the by-elections to the Tamil Nadu Assembly. 

Tamil Nadu’s major parties the AIADMK and the DMK have allied with the PMK-BJP and the Congress respectively. While the AIADMK, DMK have announced their respective candidates' list, some of the smaller alliance partners are in the progress of making their announcements. In the current scenario, Kamal’s MNM and Sasikala’s nephew TTV Dinakaran’s party the AMMK are the ones that would be going it alone in the polls. 

As Tamil Nadu goes to the polls on April 18th, it will be interesting to observe the impact of the ‘Battery Torch’ and the dent it could create on the prospects of Tamil Nadu’s Dravidian parties who have allied with National Parties. Can MNM be the “Torch - Bearer” for a new era in Tamil Nadu and Indian Politics, as Haasan claims?

Story highlights

These elections will be the poll debut of Kamal Haasan’s party which was started in February 2018. Recently the party was allotted the ‘Battery Torch’ symbol by the Election Commission.