Kamal Haasan to contest from Coimbatore South in upcoming Tamil Nadu Assembly polls 2021
The Makkal Needhi Maiam president made the announcement, releasing the second list of 43 party candidates which included veteran politician Pazha Karuppiah.
CHENNAI: Banking on his party's decent show in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) founder Kamal Hassan has chosen the Coimbatore South Assembly constituency for his maiden electoral contest. He would be locking horns with candidates of the BJP and Congress.
The actor-turned-politician, who released the party’s second list of candidates in Chennai on Friday, also announced that MNM vice-president R Mahendran would be contesting from the Singanallur constituency.
In Coimbatore South, the national parties are likely to go with the same candidates from the 2016 Assembly election. Mayura S Jayakumar of the Congress and BJP women's wing national president Vanathi Srinivasan, who came second and third respectively in the previous election, are among the top runners for the party tickets. Mahendran will be up against incumbent DMK MLA N Karthik and AIADMK candidate KR Jeyaram.
The numbers game
After just a year since the party’s launch, Mahendran, who had contested from the Coimbatore parliamentary constituency, had secured 11.6 per cent (or 1.45 lakh) of the total votes. PR Natarajan (45.66 per cent) of the CPM won the election, while the BJP's CP Radhakrishnan (31.34 per cent) came second.
The assembly-segment-wise tallies show that the party had polled 20,000-plus votes in both Coimbatore South and Singanallur constituencies. The MNM candidate had posted a decent tally of 23,838 votes (16.38 per cent) and 28,643 votes (15.66 per cent) in Coimbatore South and Singanallur assembly segments respectively. Out of the six assembly segments in the parliamentary constituency, the MNM had polled below 20,000 votes only in Palladam and Sulur.
An unfulfilled dream
While announcing the second list of candidates in Chennai, Kamal Haasan remembered the dream of his late father Sreenivasan. "My father wanted me to become an IAS officer and then enter politics. Though I could not realise his dream [of entering the IAS], my party comprises many [former] IAS officers. That is a proud moment for us," he said.