In the latest development, talks for an alliance between Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) were initiated on Wednesday by the MNM permanent president Kamal Haasan for the upcoming polls in the state. A possible alliance between AAP and MNM could mark the entry of Arvind Kejriwal's party in South India. Kejriwal was the biggest attendee when Kamal Haasan had formally launched the MNM. Recently, MNM passed a resolution to name Kamal Haasan as the permanent president of the outfit and allowed him to make decisions related to election strategies. Meanwhile, MNM has started looking for candidates for the upcoming Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Assembly elections and will begin accepting online applications from party members soon. The party has announced that the applications will open on Sunday, February 21, and potential candidates will have to pay ₹25,000 to be considered.
MNM's permanent president Kamal Haasan said even non-members were welcome to apply for a ticket if they have due qualifications. The amount will be used for the party's expenses and will not be refunded irrespective of whether the application is accepted, said Haasan, terming it as a contribution towards honest politics. Application forms will be distributed both online as well as in party offices and filled ones can be submitted from February 21 onwards. The MNM President invited applications from aspiring candidates for all 234 assembly seats in Tamil Nadu and the 30 in neighbouring Puducherry. Haasan said his party will also contest the Kanyakumari Lok Sabha bypoll, slated to be held along with Tamil Nadu elections. The vacancy arose after the death of Congress MP H Vasantha Kumar last year due to Covid-19.
The Vishwaroopam star had launched his party in a public meeting in Madurai in February 2018, saying that MNM will fill the vacuum in Tamil politics. He also launched his party flag which shows six interlocked hands that symbolized co-operation between the Southern states of India. In the Lok Sabha elections, the party contested 36 seats but did not win any and also failed to open its account in the Tamil Nadu by-polls. While Kamal Haasan had been open to allying with Rajinikanth, it was dropped after Rajinikanth dropped his political entry. MNM has aggressively campaigned with the Superstar completing two phases of a tour across the state.
The two warring factions in AIADMK - of Deputy CM O Pannerselvam (OPS) and CM E Palaniswamy (EPS), reconciled after the party named incumbent E Palaniswamy as its CM candidate and O Panneerselvam as the chief of the 11-member steering committee. With AIADMK announcing it will continue its national alliance with BJP, the saffron party is yet to officially announce its state-level alliance. Meanwhile, ex-CM Karunanidhi's successor - DMK chief MK Stalin eyes his maiden CM term as DMK cannot afford to lose a third straight Assembly election after sweeping the state in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls with 38 seats.