Gen Secy of Kamal Haasan's party moves to BJP

General Secretary of Kamal Haasan's MNM joins BJP to support farm bills

Arunachalam's exit from MNM comes five months ahead of assembly polls in Tamil Nadu

Kamal Haasan. Credit: DH Pool Photo

Actor Kamal Haasan-led Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) on Friday suffered a setback when a founder-member and general secretary quit the party and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

A Arunachalam, who was associated with Kamal Haasan since 2018 when he launched MNM, joined the BJP in the presence of Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar.

Arunachalam's exit from MNM comes five months ahead of assembly polls in Tamil Nadu for which the party has already begun its campaign. Party insiders admitted that Arunachalam's resignation from MNM will certainly be a setback as he had been working at the grassroots level.

MNM projects itself as a change agent in Tamil Nadu, which has seen DMK and AIADMK ruling it alternatively since 1967. The party had earlier this week released a seven-point economic and social agenda that it would implement if it came to power.

After joining the BJP, Arunachalam blamed MNM's opposition to the three farm laws as the reason for his exit from the party.

“I come from a family that is rooted in agriculture. Even today, I am involved in agriculture and I know the benefits that the three bills would give to farmers. But MNM opposed the bill just for the sake of politics. I did not agree to the decision,” Arunachalam said.

Arunachalam reportedly told MNM leaders that the party should not become a “miniature” of the DMK and had impressed upon the leadership to support the farm laws. He is the second senior functionary to quit the MNM and join BJP after Ra Arjunamurthy, who is now an advisor to Tamil superstar Rajinikanth's new political venture.

Tamil Nadu goes to its most-crucial assembly elections in recent times in the first half of 2021 with many players vying for the hot seat at Fort St. George, the seat of power of the Tamil Nadu government.