Star Power Fails To Launch Kamal Haasan’s Political Dreams in Tamil Nadu
Kamal Haasan had ideologically positioned himself closer to the Left, but even then the state went ahead with the tried and tested DMK and Congress.
File photo of actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan.
This year’s election in Tamil Nadu had a hint of celeb quotient to it, thanks to veteran actor Kamal Haasan.
However, despite his star appeal and campaign rallies across the state, Haasan’s party Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) has not registered a single lead.
The MNM contested all the 39 parliamentary seats, but the party seemed to revolve only around Haasan’s star power. While Haasan has visited all the constituencies, the candidates were usually left to fend for themselves.
It is surprising that the party has not won the seats many expected it to win, considering the fantastic record of the candidates that he had fielded, like R Rangarajan contesting from Chennai South, who quit the civil services to fight against corruption and many others who have been bureaucrats.
Kamal Haasan did almost everything possible, including holding panchayat level meetings in rural areas. He has explored social media as well and engages on various platform. Further, the actor-turned-politician also gave out advertisements in newspapers.
In effect, the difference between a seasoned politician like Dhinakaran and Haasan is simple. The former has invested not just money but enormous thought in building a party organisation, while the latter seems to believe that his star image and the promise of “clean politics” is all that is required to make a mark.
Had Haasan contested himself, the stakes would have been higher and he would have received serious attention. While the actor had initially said he would contest the elections in 2018, he chose not to take the plunge in the end. In a sense, the impression is that he has failed to take the bull by its horns.
Haasan had also ideologically positioned himself closer to the Left, but even they have not taken him seriously and have gone with the tried and tested DMK and Congress in the state.
In the initial hours of vote counting, TTV Dhinakaran's Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) and Kamla Haasan's MNM had shown zero impact. However, MNM pulled 12.5 per cent, 13 per cent and 12 per cent votes in Chennai South, Central and North Lok Sabha constituencies, respectively.
Kamal Haasan's 'torch bearer' party was launched by the actor on February 21, 2018, with its main focus on the fight against corruption and development of rural Tamil Nadu.
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