The Tamil Nadu Assembly election is less than six months away and actor-politician Kamal Haasan, whose Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) will contest with him as the chief ministerial candidate, has urged those eligible to vote (but have not yet registered) to sign up for voter ID cards.
In a two-and-a-half minute video released on his Twitter account, Kamal Haasan reaches out to all those who have not yet enrolled for their voter ID cards and urges them to take advantage of special camps to be set up later this month and in December.
“Being a voter is an honour for anyone above 18. A voter ID is a big weapon… A society that does not discharge its responsibility will automatically lose its rights. Those who want change, those who say the system is not right, those who say all are thieves… don’t have a voter ID,” he says in the video.
“Make this your mantra for the 2021 polls: I will change, I will vote,” the actor-politician adds.
— Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) November 20, 2020
The southern state is scheduled to vote for a new government in May. This will be the first state election since the death of two icons of Tamil Nadu politics – M Karunanidhi and J Jayalalithaa.
It will also be the first state election for Kamal Haasan and his MNM, which was founded in February 2018. Many say the message is a tacit appeal to youth, women and neutral voters.
Earlier this month Kamal Haasan said his party had emerged as a third front in Tamil Nadu; politics in the state has long been dominated the AIADMK (in power now) and the DMK (the current opposition).
He also played down talk of an headline-grabbing alliance with fellow superstar actor Rajinikanth, who had been rumoured to enter politics before hinting at a rethink because of ill-health.
In last year’s Lok Sabha polls (the MNM’s electoral debut) the party failed to win any seats but did secure nearly four per cent of the vote share. Kamal Haasan will be hoping to build on that result in this election and is likely to launch his campaign later this month.
The actor-politician has listed “livelihood, jobs, and drinking water” among his key poll issues.