Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) is currently conducting interviews with potential candidates for MLA posts in Tamil Nadu’s 234 constituencies. Several of its top functionaries were engaged in selecting candidates and accepting nominations on Monday, 1 March. According to sources, the party looks to retain at least 170 seats of the 234 constituencies in the state. As far as the other seats are concerned they are in talks with allies.
"We are in talks with these four groups. We believe that MNM will provide a credible alternative to the DMK and AIADMK. We don't want any voters to fritter away," says a source in MNM.
Party sources tell TNM that Kamal Haasan is of the opinion that time is ripe for a third front in the state, following the demise of both J Jayalalithaa and M Karunanidhi.
However, none of the parties that MNM is currently in talks with has a strong votebank or shown great promise in previous polls.
"Every party comes with their plus and minus. We will take the best from it and make it work," he adds. As far as specualtion of allying with the DMK was concerned, he maintains that the talks never involved Kamal Haasan himself.
MNM is banking on the AAP to also further its ‘clean party’ image.
"Kejriwal even came for the launch of the party. We believe in the same kind of politics. He is very important to us," he says.
Sarathkumar, however, given the dispute over the Nadigar Sangam land does not carry a similar reputation.
"We need to see what is contextually relevant. It is not possible for a party to score full marks in every aspect. We can't compromise on everything but we have to take a shot at the possibilities that exist," he says.
Sources further added that that MNM was looking for a tie-up with AIAMIM currently.
(Published in an arrangement with The News Minute.)