Tamil Nadu

Kamal reaches out to MNM cadre

Kamal Haasan   | Photo Credit: K. Pichumani

Makkal Needhi Maiam founder Kamal Haasan is holding discussions with his party’s defeated candidates (Assembly poll) and office-bearers at the lower level, reassuring them that they would have more access to party “leadership” and powers to take decisions.

Mr. Haasan has faced a tough post-election scenario as most of the immediate second-line office-bearers, including the vice-president and several general secretaries, left the party. They accused him of authoritarianism and raised doubts over transparency, including in matters of finances lending credence to speculation that he was merely trying to split votes.

The party, which made a decent start in 2019 Lok Sabha election garnering close to 4% of the votes, could get only 3% voteshare while not winning any seat.

A younger candidate fielded in Chennai told The Hindu that Mr. Haasan reached out personally to discuss the future of the party and to understand what internal reforms were needed.

“In a way, we are happy that he has taken charge of the party. It was his party and we joined him. Many of us felt that the access to the leader, which was available when the party was formed, was gradually cut off by senior office-bearers. So, the party leader directly reaching out is exactly what was needed,” said the candidate.

The candidate added that Mr. Haasan has been advised by many to appoint more people at lower levels and empower them.

Another candidate with a corporate background said Mr. Haasan had begun reaching out to candidates immediately after the election results were announced.

An office-bearer, who worked in a Chennai constituency, said that this was an effort to reassure the party cadre that the leader was still in charge and keep the flock together. “There was uncertainty over the future of the party. Leader directly reaching out to us and reassuring us that a new party structure is getting ready gives us hope,” he said.

A senior office-bearer said there had been wide-ranging discussions about how the party, which had refrained from organising public protests, could get involved in public issues actively.

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Printable version | Jul 23, 2021 10:40:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/kamal-reaches-out-to-mnm-cadre/article34861929.ece

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