Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan said on Friday that he is ready for an alliance with the Congress ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in 2019. But Haasan, who is the founder of Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM), has a condition – the grand old party must sever its ties with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK).
Haasan, who has been at the forefront of a number of political protests in Tamil Nadu and is emerging as a strong force in the multi-party electoral battlefield in the state, laid down his proposal during an interview with Thanthi TV.
“If DMK-Congress alliance breaks, I would be ready to join hands with Congress in the 2019 elections. I need to have a word with Congress to make sure our alliance would benefit the people of Tamil Nadu,” he said.
According to The Indian Express, Haasan’s extension of an offer to Congress does not come as a surprise. He had in June this year met Congress president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi in a meeting during which, as Haasan said, they discussed politics “but not the way you think”.
Haasan has never spoken outright against the DMK before Friday’s interview.
According to The Indian Express, Haasan said that his party, MNM, “aims to fight corruption and won’t join hands with any party which is tainted”.
“Both DMK and AIADMK have been corrupt. We will work hard to dethrone both these parties from Tamil Nadu,” he said.
The DMK and Haasan’s MNM, though ideologically against the AIADMK government in the state, have not shared the same stage on any of the common causes they backed during the last few months, including the Sterlite protests.
Haasan had on 16 December 2017 congratulated Rahul Gandhi on the latter’s elevation to the post of president of Congress party. At the time, Haasan hadn’t launched his political party but had announced his intent.
Makkal Needhi Maiyyam was floated in February this year and has been critical of both state and central government policies.
The DMK is an ally in the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and its MPs have held ministerial berths in the previous government.