Makkal Needhi Maiam president Kamal Haasan on Wednesday extended “unconditional support” to Congress candidate E.V.K.S Elangovan, contesting as part of the DMK-led Secular Progressive Alliance (SPA) in the Erode (East) by-election. The bypoll is scheduled for February 27.
Addressing the media in Chennai on Wednesday, Mr. Haasan said the decision was taken unanimously after consultation with party functionaries. While stating that he and his party would offer necessary support for the victory of Mr. Elangovan, Mr. Haasan indicated that he was likely to campaign personally in the constituency.
On Monday, Mr. Elangovan, along with other Congress leaders, had met Mr. Haasan and sought support for his candidature.
The actor-turned-politician said Mr. Elangovan’s victory was important to teach a lesson to religious forces and reiterate that Tamil Nadu was a land of equality, fraternity and social justice. He said his party did not have any differences when it came to the issue of opposing religious forces with its full strength.
Without naming the BJP, he said that the country’s pluralism was continuously facing a crisis, and there was an attempt to impose a “monoculture”. Freedom of expression and the voices of democratic forces were being stifled. Elected governments were not being allowed to function freely due to interventions through back channels, he alleged.
To a question on whether MNM’s support to the Congress would continue for the Parliamentary election in 2024, he said a decision on that cannot be taken now as the elections are still more than a year away.
When asked about his party deviating from its earlier stance of criticism against parties in the SPA, he said this was a battle against a larger cause wherein he was willing to set aside little differences. “This does not mean that I will not raise my voice against corruption. If something happens, I will not keep quiet,” he said.
On the speculation that he was eyeing candidature in the Parliamentary elections, he rhetorically asked, “What is wrong in that?”