Kamal Haasan meets Sarath Kumar and IJK as buzz over Third Front in TN takes shape

Kamal Haasan meets Sarath Kumar and IJK as buzz over Third Front in TN takes shape
A day after election dates for Tamil Nadu Assembly polls were announced, Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) founder Kamal Haasan held talks with All India Samathuva Makkal Katchi (AISMK) chief and actor Sarath Kumar and members of Indhiya Jananayaga Katchi (IJK) on Saturday amid buzz over a Third Front taking shape.  The AISMK and IJK formed an alliance for the Assembly elections on Friday. While AISMK was earlier with AIADMK alliance with Sarath Kumar winning an MLA seat from Tenkasi in 2011, TR Paarivendhar of IJK contested and won on DMK’s Rising Sun symbol in the parliamentary elections of 2019. Speaking to the media after his meeting, Sarath Kumar said that he spoke to Kamal Haasan for forming an alliance with people of good intentions and similar ideology.  Sarath Kumar, who was earlier with AIADMK alliance, said, “I have travelled with AIADMK for the past 10 years and even CM Edappadi last week said that all the alliance partners are intact and Samathuva Makkal Katchi is also with AIADMK. However, there is a time limit for everything.” “We have been in the alliance for the past 10 years but there were no talks with us. Even DMDK’s Premalatha spoke about the delay. Hence, we have decided to form an alliance with good people and similar ideology,” he said.  To the question on the chief ministerial candidate for the possible alliance between MNM-IJK-AISMK, Sarath Kumar said, “We will discuss the Chief Minister candidate after winning the polls.”  Earlier in the week, Sarath Kumar and his wife Radhika Sarathkumar met the former aide of J Jayalalithaa, VK Sasikala. On Saturday, Kamal inducted former MLA Pala Karuppiah into the party, and said he will contest in the upcoming polls. Pala Karuppiah was elected as an AIADMK MLA from the Harbour constituency in 2011. However, Pala Karuppiah was expelled from AIADMK by the then General Secretary J Jayalalithaa in 2016 for bringing disrepute to the party. In the same year, Karuppiah joined DMK but quit DMK in 2019 alleging that the party is corrupt. The MNM chief also announced a poll tie-up with Satta Panchayat Iyakkam, an NGO which was started in 2013 to fight against corruption and to work towards bringing good governance. Kamal Haasan said that the first list of candidates for the party will be released on March 7. Addressing the press from the Chennai party office, Kamal Haasan said that for the people who were thinking that there are many days ahead for elections, now it’s clear that we just have 36 days and it is good that MNM was always ready.  “There were several applications from candidates showing interest to contest in the polls. So, we will start the candidate interview on March 1. The MNM members including Pala Karuppiah, Ponraj, Rangarajan IAS and Senthil Arumugam will interview the candidates. The first candidate list will be out on March 7,” Kamal Haasan said.  Kamal will also start the next leg of campaigning for the party on March 3.

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