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Kamal Haasan Takes the Political Plunge With ‘Makkal Needhi Maiam’

Kamal Haasan launched his party, the ‘Makkal Needhi Maiam’, on 21 February 2018

Updated
India
12 min read
The Tamil Nadu political landscape has a new entrant in veteran actor – Kamal Haasan. 
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Kamal Haasan's Political Entry

The Tamil Nadu political landscape has a new entrant in veteran actor – Kamal Haasan. After a prolonged period of speculation and wait, the actor has announced that his political party will see the light of day on 21 February.

The actor-turned-politician had become increasingly critical of the Tamil Nadu government following the death of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa.

In November last year, he had confirmed his political entry by announcing the launch of a whistleblower app.

In December 2017, his contemporary Rajinikanth also announced his political entry with the formation of a yet-to-be-named party. Kamal had wished him well – and said that he would be undertaking a journey to meet people in February.

7:33 PM , 22 Feb
KEY EVENT

Saffron Should Not Spread All Over the Tricolour: Kamal Haasan

A day after he launched his political party, Kamal Haasan said that saffron has its place in the national flag but it should not spread all over it. The remark is being interpreted as an attack on the BJP and Hindutva forces, reported IANS.

Even the Indian national flag has saffron. But it (the colour) should not spread all over the flag is what I am saying
Kamal Haasan, President of Makkal Needhi Maiam.

In his latest column in a Tamil weekly magazine Ananda Vikatan’, Kamal said he has not insulted the saffron band on the tricolour, which signifies courage and sacrifice.

On the core political philosophy, Kamal said he does not want to be tied down to the narrow confines of any single 'ism'.

All ‘isms’ are for social reform. And it cannot be said all have succeeded. It cannot be agreed that a book written in some corner of the world will suit the whole world.
Kamal Haasan
7:33 PM , 22 Feb
KEY EVENT

Kamal Haasan Held 'Secret Meeting' With Rajinikanth Before Entering Politics

Kamal Haasan said on Thursday, 22 February, that he held a "secret" meeting with Rajinikanth about his entry into politics and decided to maintain dignity even if they became rivals later, reported PTI.

In his column in the weekly Tamil magazine 'Ananda Vikatan', the actor-turned politicians did not reveal when the meeting took place.

But he disclosed that they spoke on the issue of his political entry during the shoot of 'Bigg Boss', anchored by Haasan.

Rajinikanth was also shooting for his upcoming film ‘Kaala’ in a nearby location, Haasan said, adding that he made the proposal for the meeting.

“Shall we meet secretively I asked... we later sat inside a car and discussed. I spoke about the decisions I had made,” Haasan said in an apparent reference to his political plunge.

He said he proposed the meeting as he wanted his one time co-star to be in the know about his decision to enter politics before the others knew about it.

According to Haasan, Rajnikanth did express surprise at his decision.

Haasan told his 'friend' that he was mentally prepared about the plunge a long time ago, but was implementing it now.

We decided that there shall be no compromise in dignity for whatever reason. I told him that even if we are in opposing camps, the respect (for each other) should be maintained.
Kamal Haasan on his meeting with Rajnikanth

He added that Rajinikanth endorsed his views.

Meanwhile, in Chennai, Haasan said that he has registered Makkal Neethi Maiam with the Election Commission and proposed to hold a public meeting of the party in Tiruchirappally on 4 April.

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1:27 AM , 22 Feb

'My Party is Against Freebies and Votes for Money'

Trying a method of explaining his party's stand on a couple of issues through question-answer session, he said the party was against freebies.

Freebies were a fixture in the regimes of the previous DMK and current AIADMK.

Rather than giving such freebies, he said by creating employment opportunities, the party would empower people with which they can fulfill their needs and also help others.

Kamal Haasan Takes the Political Plunge With ‘Makkal Needhi Maiam’
(Photo: PTI)

Haasan also said that people have been cheated and asserted that he will never offer votes for money but rather spend it for their welfare.

If you had voted for a good party, you could have got even six lakh rupees a year (indicating such income through employment or benefit in the form of government services) not six thousand rupees. 

"There will be no quarter or scooter," he said.

Subsidy for scooter for women beneficiaries is an initiative of the ruling AIADMK and it is set to formally take off soon.

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1:27 AM , 22 Feb
KEY EVENT

Kejriwal Asks Tamil Nadu to Vote For Kamal Haasan

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal appealed to the people of Tamil Nadu to vote for the new party of Kamal Haasan and throw out the "corrupt" AIADMK and DMK.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal with actor-politician Kamal Haasan at his party launch.
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal with actor-politician Kamal Haasan at his party launch.
(Photo: PTI)

In his brief address in English, which was translated into Tamil, Kejriwal said:

If you want corruption, vote for DMK and AIADMK. If you want schools, hospitals, water, and electricity, vote for Kamal Haasan.
Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi CM  

He said people of Delhi started the trend of voting for honest political parties and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) got 67 out of 70 seats.

Now, he said the people of Tamil Nadu have the chance of breaking the record by voting for Kamal Haasan.

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Published: 20 Feb 2018, 9:02 PM IST
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