Kamal hopes to lead an alternative front in Tamil Nadu

Kamal Haasan hopes to lead an alternative front in Tamil Nadu, inducting AMMK may spell trouble

Actor-Politician Kamal Hassan. Credit: PTI File Photo

After having projected itself as the “change agent” that Tamil Nadu “badly needs”, actor-politician Kamal Haasan's Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) is now working towards forming an “alternative front” to the DMK and AIADMK by bringing all “like-minded” parties under one umbrella.

Though this may eventually work out with a few parties already backing Kamal's idea, there could a surprise addition to the Third Front in Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) led by AIADMK rebel T T V Dhinakaran, nephew of V K Sasikala. It is not mere speculation anymore – Kamal himself told reporters on Saturday that he would welcome AMMK into the alliance but there will be no change in MNM's stand on him being the Chief Ministerial face.

The talk of a Third Front or alternative front gained momentum on Saturday after Kamal's colleague in tinsel town and politician, Sarath Kumar, met him and discussed the possibility of both coming together to fight the April 6 assembly elections. Sarath Kumar's AISMK has already entered into an electoral pact with IJK, headed by an educationist who is also a media baron controlling an influential television news channel in the state.

An activist all through his life has given his voice for several social causes, Kamal has been able to get retired and former bureaucrats, and activists to his fold. U Sagayam, a bureaucrat popular among people for his activism and taking politicians head-on, is likely to join MNM or the alliance led by it. Sagayam, who felt sidelined in the government due to his outspoken nature, was granted voluntary retirement from service recently after he sought the same.

While all this may work as an advantage to Kamal, an alliance with AMMK, if it finally sees the light of the day, would raise questions on his “change agent” plank. Though there has been no word on the potential alliance from AMMK, there seems to be disquiet among several functionaries of the MNM.

“Nothing can be ruled out in politics. But any alliance with the AMMK would severely dent our anti-corruption plank. Already there is a disquiet among a section in the MNM about the potential alliance,” a senior leader of the MNM told DH. Kamal has made “corruption by Dravidian parties” as the centrepiece of his campaign.

That section feels any truck with Dhinakaran would only put Kamal and MNM on the defensive from its current track of being on the offensive against the Dravidian parties. The objection is because Dhinakaran is identified with V K Sasikala, who has just returned from a prison following completion of a four-year term in a disproportionate assets (DA) case.

“After a photo of (Naam Tamizhar Katchi chief) Seeman meeting Sasikala was released in the media, it did not go well with the party cadres. If that is the case in NTK, imagine what kind of reaction it would lead to in our party. And it is our leader Kamal who was among the first to speak against Sasikala assuming the Chief Minister's role in 2017. We should not forget the past,” another MNM functionary said.

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