Ahead of polls, MNM keen on a third front


Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) will prioritise leading the third front, but will remain open for an alliance in the upcoming Assembly election in 2021, party sources told The Hindu, after members of its central governing body and executive council met in the presence of party founder Kamal Haasan on Friday.

The party also decided that it will contest the Kanniyakumari Lok Sabha byelection only if it is held along with the Assembly election next year.

A statement from the party said that seven committees had been formed to identify candidates, train them, create the party’s election manifesto, organise the party’s propaganda and look into other aspects related to preparations for the election.

Main takeaway

Speaking to The Hindu, party vice-president R. Mahendran said: “If we can contest in 38 Parliamentary seats, we can do it in 234 Assembly seats as well.”

“The main takeaway was that we should be ready to go alone. The wish of the party leaders and the party cadre is that we should form a third front. As far as decisions on alliances go, the party president has been given unanimous authority,” he said.

Dr. Mahendran said ‘constituency custodians’ had been asked to complete the process of forming booth committees, increase the party’s visibility and recommend candidates to the committee, to complete the process by January.

A. Arunachalam, general secretary, MNM, said several parties were already speaking to the party about a possible alliance. Sources at the meeting acknowledged that any discussion about electoral alliances with Dravidian parties would go against Mr. Haasan’s conviction that MNM is an alternative to the two Dravidian parties. They, however, confessed that the possibility of forming a third front, may, in practical terms, depend on whether Mr. Rajinikanth decides to contest the Assembly elections in 2021.

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