Kamal Haasan, the founder and chief of Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM), will be making his electoral debut from the Coimbatore South constituency in the 2021 Assembly Election. This means the actor-politician will be taking on a BJP and Congress candidate. It is speculated that BJP will field national president of the party's women's wing Vanathi Srinivasan.
“Coimbatore is a place 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 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 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 has been my guru for oratorical skills. He would train 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 fulfill one part of it, I have many IAS officers in my party,” he said.
The actor-politician also announced the second list of MNM’s candidates on Friday. Among the prominent faces in the second list former IAS officer Santhosh Babu, who had earlier been named as the Vilivakkam candidate, has now been fielded from Velachery.
Santhosh Babu, who had taken voluntary retirement in August last year joined MNM in December. The 1995-batch Tamil Nadu cadre IAS officer had earlier admitted that he applied for VRS after problems arose in the Rs 2000-crore BharatNet project, which was floated by the Tamil Nadu FiberNet Corporation (TANFINET), when he was Principal Secretary to the government in the Department of Information Technology.
Actor Sripriya will be fielded from Mylapore, where she will take on former DGP and sitting AIADMK MLA R Nataraj. Veteran politician Pazha Karuppaiah who is a former AIADMK MLA and was earlier with the DMK, will be contesting as an MNM candidate from T Nagar. Entrepreneur Sarath Babu will be fielded from Alandur.
Significantly, R Mahendran, who had contested in the Coimbatore Lok Sabha seat in 2019 and had polled over 1 lakh votes will be fielded from Singanallur.
Makkal Needhi Maiam had on Wednesday announced its first list of 70 candidates. Among the prominent faces include Padmapriya, a YouTuber from Maduravoyal, Sneha Mohandoss, who founded Food Bank, who will contest from Saidapet.