Makkal Needhi Maiam founder Kamal Haasan on Wednesday announced the first list of 70 party candidates for the April 6 Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, fielding, among others, a former associate of ex-President, the late APJ Abdul Kalam. The party, which is facing the elections with allies, actor R Sarath Kumar-headed All India Samathuva Makkal Katchi (AISMK) and India Jananayaka Katchi (IJK) of Lok Sabha MP Paarivendhar, has announced it will test its fortunes from 154 of the 234 seats, leaving the rest to its two partners.
At a press conference here, Haasan announced the candidature of 70 persons for his party’s maiden assembly polls battle, being fought by it on the plank of corruption and good governance. V Ponraj, a scientist and former associate of the late Kalam, has been nominated from Anna Nagar in the city while former IAS officer Santhosh Babu is the party’s pick for Villivakkam in the metropolis.
Film lyricist Snehan was among the 70 candidates Haasan named for various constituencies across the state including Kancheepuram, Mettur, Erode, Coonoor, Avanashi (SC), Viralimalai, Bodinayakkanur, Nagercoil and Colachel. The coalition, described by the respective party leaders as a “First Front” and not a “Third Front” as was being mentioned by some, has announced Haasan as its chief ministerial candidate.
Meanwhile, the Vaiko-led MDMK, an ally of the DMK, identified the six assembly segments from where it would contest from, following its seat-sharing agreement with the lead partner earlier. MDMK will field its nominees from Madurantakam (SC), Sathur, Palladam, Madurai South, Vasudevanallur (SC) and Ariyalur.
As per the agreement reached with DMK, the MDMK’s candidates will contest on the former’s Rising Sun symbol. The DMK also signed a pact with the All India Forward Bloc for one seat, where the outfit will contest on the Rising Sun symbol.
The MK Stalin-led DMK also agreed upon the constituencies to be contested by some other allies including the Indian Union Muslim League which will field its candidates from Vaniyambadi, Kadayanallur and Chidambaram segments.