For the first time since plunging into politics, actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan has come up to support the DMK alliance in the upcoming bypoll in the Erode East assembly constituency. It is also the first time that Kamal Haasan has decided to forgo from contesting in an election since launching his political party Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM).
Days after Congress candidate EVKS Elangovan, who is going to contest in the bypoll in the DMK alliance, met Kamal Haasan and sought his support in the bypoll, the actor-turned-politician on Wednesday - January 25 announced his party's unconditional support for Elangovan. Kamal Haasan was in the limelight for the past few days and several speculations were doing rife about his stand in the bypoll.
After Elangovan met Kamal Haasan, the latter had held a meeting with his party's office bearers to decide whether to contest, or to support, or to forgo the bypoll. Days after the meeting, Kamal Haasan on Wednesday broke the silence and divulged his support to Elangovan. After convening an emergency meeting with his party leaders, Kamal Haasan addressed the reporters during which he announced his decision.
Kamal Haasan said, "MNM's Governing Council and Executive Committee has unanimously decided to extend support for Secular Progessive Alliance candidate EVKS Elangovan. I and my party will do everything for his victory." The party's resolution has said that MNM has no doubts that communal forces should be opposed in full strength considering the present political situation.
Responding to a question on whether his support to the DMK alliance continue for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, Kamal Haasan said that the current decision was taken in the wake of an emergency situation. By citing that he would campaign for Elangovan in the Erode East bypoll, Kamal Haasan said, "We have decided for the welfare of Tamil Nadu and not to allow opposing forces to benefit from it. This is a decision for the present situation. You cannot force us to decide for next year now."
Referring to BJP indirectly, Kamal Haasan said that the Erode East bypoll was a moment of national importance and a fight for the common cause of joining hands against communal forces. "My battle starts here in a small ground and would expand nationally", he added. Speaking to NDTV, Kamal Haasan said, "There is nothing called compromise when it comes to people. I am a centrist. Ideology shouldn't impede service to people."
It is pertinent to note that Kamal Haasan's decision to support the Congress candidate has come weeks after he participated in Bharat Jodo Yatra in Delhi with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. In the sidelines of the yatra, both the leaders held a conversation that made headlines nationally. The Erode East bypoll was necessitated after the demise of Congress MLA Thirumahan Everaa, who died on January 4 at the age of 46 due to heart attack.
Thirumahan Everaa was the great-grandson of Thanthai Periyar and the son of EVKS Elangovan, the current Congress candidate in the bypoll. Elangovan was a former Union Minister and a former chief of Tamil Nadu Congress Committee. His candidacy has come as a surprise to many when he was assaying to get the seat for his younger son Sanjay Sampath. The bypoll will be held on February 27 and while the political crisis in the opposition is taking tumultuous turn in finalizing the candidate, it is expected that Kamal Haasan's support to the Congress party will boost the ruling alliance.