Makkal Needhi Maiam begins Lok Sabha poll work, launches campaign to meet people 

MNM vice-president R Thangavelu said, “We launched the campaign in Coimbatore on Sunday. We will extend it to all 234 Assembly constituencies in Tamil Nadu.
Makkal Needhi Maiam chief Kamal Haasan (Photo| EPS)
Makkal Needhi Maiam chief Kamal Haasan (Photo| EPS)

COIMBATORE: Actor turned politician Kamal Haasan kicked off preparations for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections with a campaign to reach out to the people and listen to their grievances and promises that have not been fulfilled by those whom they had voted for in the past.

 On Sunday, Makkal Needhi Maiam launched Makkalodu Maiam, a state-level meet-the-people campaign, in Coimbatore South constituency, where Kamal contested and lost in the 2021 Assembly elections to BJP’s Vanathi Srinivasan by 1,728 votes.

MNM vice-president R Thangavelu said, “We launched the campaign in Coimbatore on Sunday. We will extend it to all 234 Assembly constituencies in Tamil Nadu. Cadre and functionaries at the ward level will collect details about the lack of basic amenities faced by people that are not yet addressed by elected public representatives. Data collected during the campaign will be used to chalk out MNM’s election manifesto and strategy.” 

According to Thangavelu, each ward secretary has been given a list of 25 binary questions on basic amenities in their areas in a Google Form. They will meet the people and get their feedback about the issues.  “We will address the issues ourselves wherever we can. If not, we will take it up with the government. The campaign will be completed across Tamil Nadu in two months. We hope it will help us connect with people better and inculcate good rapport ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections,” he said.

Asked if Kamal would contest in Coimbatore South again as he lost in 2021 by a thin margin, Thangavelu said Kamal would contest in parliamentary elections. “District functionaries urged him to contest from Coimbatore. Where he would contest would be decided in consultation with senior leaders,” Thangavelu said.

In April, Kamal convened a meeting with functionaries in Coimbatore to discuss the 2024 elections. When media asked Kamal if he planned to get what he missed in 2021, he had said “Maybe, It is a good idea”.  Since then, MNM has sharpened its focus on Coimbatore. Recently, Kamal gifted a car to Sharmila, a young bus driver who quit her job following a controversy.

Also, MNM cadre staged a protest in Coimbatore South constituency, accusing BJP MLA Vanathi Srinivasan of not fulfilling her poll promises. These activities have triggered speculation that Kamal is preparing to contest in Coimbatore in 2024, possibly in the DMK alliance. Further, a few MNM functionaries opined that Kamal’s margin of defeat in 2021 has given DMK confidence to accommodate him in its alliance.

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