According to media reports, the Tamil Nadu Congress has made an appeal to the Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) founder and actor Kamal Haasan to join the Congress-DMK alliance for the upcoming general elections.
Speaking to a Tamil news channel, the newly appointed Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) President K S Alagiri stated that since Kamal Haasan is a flag bearer of secular ideology, he should join hands with secular forces. “This would strengthen our alliance,” added the TNCC chief.
The invitation came as surprise as Kamal Haasan has already given hints that his party will contest all the 40 Lok Sabha seats (39 in Tamil Nadu and 1 in Puducherry) on its own and would not be striking up an alliance. Lately, Haasan claimed that MNM wanted to serve the people and do not want its hands to get dirty by allying with DMK or AIADMK. Not only that, he further ruled out the alliance with T T V Dhinakaran-led AMMK.
Political commentators too are surprised by Alagiri’s invitation coming, as earlier DMK had launched a blistering attack on the actor by insinuating his caste. R S Bharathi, organizing secretary, DMK, made it clear that his party is not going to join hands with Haasan after his derogatory remark against the DMK and terming it a corrupt party.
In a tweet from the official Twitter account of the DMK, Vaagai Chandrasekaran, a DMK legislator from Velachery constituency and a veteran actor, claimed that by criticizing the DMK, Haasan was trying to gain political mileage. “Kamal has tried to forge an alliance with Congress. Since Congress has shut the doors to the MNM, he has been criticizing DMK. It shows his political immaturity,” he wrote.
"அரசியல் அரிதாரம் கலைந்து போன விரக்தியில் நிதானம் தவறி அவதூறுச் சேற்றில் புதிய மேக்கப் போடும் கமலின் வேடம் அரசியலில் எடுபடாது"https://t.co/GAfOmLkPQF
– வேளச்சேரி சட்டமன்ற உறுப்பினர் வாகை சந்திரசேகர் அறிக்கை. pic.twitter.com/PZxH1gFD6A
— DMK – Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (@arivalayam) February 7, 2019
“Kamal says that our party is corrupt. However, the same actor had praised our late leader M Karunanidhi on several occasions. While Kamal has been praising our late leader Karunanidhi as one who inspired him to take an interest in Tamil, he had conveniently forgotten that it was the patriarch who had led the party for over five decades,” Chandrasekar noted.
Kamal Haasan generated a lot of buzz ever since he announced his political ambitions, but whether his outfit strikes big on the ground or remains a television studio phenomenon, is something time will tell.
So far, what we know about his outfit is that it is a muddle of several ideologies and ideas (as per Kamal Haasan, neither left nor right. I am in the center). The outfit is supposed to be Dravidian in its outlook. In his outreach, Kamal met the Communist leadership of Kerala, Delhi chief minister and AAP president Arvind Kejriwal, DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi, and representatives of several other movements and communities. Earlier, the actor had also personally called on Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi and discussed Tamil Nadu politics in detail.
As of now, the hype around Kamal Haasan’s foray seems to be generated in television studios. Whether he has the mass-appeal and the political acumen to make a real dent, still remains to be seen.