The conspicuous absence of actor turned politician Kamal Haasan in the Karunanidhi statue unveiling event in Chennai on Sunday (16 December) has lent credence to speculation that the Makkal Needhi Maiam chief is planning to float a third front in the Tamil Nadu, News Today has reported.
Haasan chose to skip the event despite being formally invited.
Hassan, who revels in his anti-BJP agenda, was thought to be a natural ally of DMK and Congress. Rumours were agog for long that he has already sealed an alliance with the two parties and was planning to field a couple of candidates in the Lok Sabha elections. The actor had also personally called on Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi and discussed Tamil Nadu politics in detail.
Hassan also enjoys close personal rapport with Communist leaders, especially Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. He has often faced criticism in Tamil Nadu for taking an ambiguous position on the state's dispute with Kerala and his muted effort in supporting flood relief efforts in the state in contrast to his high profile efforts to mobilise support for relief and rehabilitation post Kerala floods.
Hassan is also said to enjoy good rapport with TMC leader Mamata Banerjee and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal. Kejriwal was a Special invitee during the launch event of his political outfit.
Speaking to media, Hassan claimed that his party has started preparing for the general elections but refused to speak on possibilities of forming an alliance. He said that he has embarked on a tour of Tamil Nadu in an efforts to strengthen his new party.
When asked about his alliance for the Lok Sabha election and Assembly by-polls, he said, “Such things cannot be said now and it cannot be disclosed to the media. Some sections of the media are imagining things. We will do what is good for the people.”
The actor-politician also tweeted out on Saturday (15 December) that he would like to carve a separate path in politics without alliance with political parties.
“I came into politics for a reason. We will not detour in our journey for short term benefits. This is fake news. If need be, We shall stand alone. #NalaiNamadhe.”
மக்கள் நீதி மய்யம் @maiamofficial உறுப்பினர்களுக்கும், ஆதரவாளர்களுக்கும்,— Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) December 15, 2018
நான் அரசியலுக்கு வந்த காரணத்தை நாம் உணர்வோம். அது குறுகிய ஆதாயங்களுக்காக அல்ல. வதந்திகளை நம்பாதீர். மிரண்டு போனவர்களின் தந்திர விளையாட்டு இது. உந்தப்பட்டால் தனித்து நிற்போம். #நாளைநமதே.
During a public meeting that followed the statue unveiling, DMK openly declared its support for the Congress and party president Stalin stated that DMK would strive to make Rahul Gandhi the next Prime Minister of India.
Stalin's pitch for Rahul Gandhi as the PM candidate did not receive an enthusiastic endorsement from the opposition as many leaders were left fuming over the unilateral announcement and claimed that naming anyone as the candidate will hamper opposition unity.
The News Today report quoted Ravikumar, a political observer as saying that, ”Barring DMK none have made their stand clear on Rahul Gandhi as their Prime Ministerial candidate for 2019 general elections. Interestingly the same Kamal Haasan was a special invitee when H D Kumaraswamy was sworn in as Karnataka Chief Minister a few months ago and the occasion brought together all opposition parties under one roof”.
The report quotes sources in Makkal Needhi Maiam as saying, “Our leader interacts with people. He knows what they want. Maybe he would try to bring like-minded parties together. It is certain that he is maintaining an equidistant from both the BJP and the Congress”.