Kamal Haasan’s party, Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM), will be contesting in the upcoming local body elections in Tamil Nadu.

The 63-year-old actor-turned-politician made the announcement at a mock gram panchayat meeting held at Alwarpet residence in the afternoon today.

In the mock panchayat, the actor played the role of a villager and highlighted the importance of village bodies.

The event, held to commemorate the 25th anniversary of constitutional status to Panchayats and Municipalities under the 73rd & 74th amendment, was attended by around 100 people from villages across Tamil Nadu.

“There are 12524 villages in Tamil Nadu. Most of us are from the village. Our relationship is with everyone,” said Haasan emphasising on the connection between villages.

“Gram sabhas were not seriously pursued due to selfish politics. Each gram sabha gets between Rs 1 crore and Rs 5 crore, based on a village’s population. Imagine the funds that are available in all of Tamil Nadu’s villages,” Haasan reportedly said.

He added that it is the responsibility of the gram sabhas to check if these funds are well utilised.

He said that as per rules gram sabhas should be convened four times in a year – 26 January, 1 May, 15 August and 2 October. “But this is not followed so we must ensure that it is,” Haasan stressed.

He also appealed to everyone to participate in Gram Sabha on 1 May across the state.

Haasan said that he has sent letters to all District Collectors requesting them to make arrangements to convene the Gram Sabha meeting on the scheduled date.

‘Nammavar’, as Haasan is called by his party’s supporters, also addressed questions on various issues from the villagers.

Haasan, who has already made his intention of contesting in the 2021 Tamil Nadu elections clear, also said that Article 243 will help his party win all 234 seats in the assembly. The Article lays down the meaning, role and powers of the Panchayats.