February 15, 2020
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I Am Here For The Long Term: Kamal Haasan

Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan tells why his party’s future looks promising.

I Am Here For The Long Term: Kamal Haasan
Photograph by Getty Images
I Am Here For The Long Term: Kamal Haasan

Though most nominees of Kamal Haasan’s MNM lost their deposits, the Coimbatore candidate polled more than a lakh votes. The actor-turned-politician tells G.C. Shekhar why his party’s future looks promising. Excerpts:

On Entering the Electoral Fray: The elections were a dipstick. Our party is in a ‘blitz scale’ mode. We built a parachute, jumped and managed to land on our feet, not on our head. Harvard professors told me three years ago that it would take me 15 years to make a mark in politics. But I told them I was already 63. I didn’t have time. So they came up with this blitz scale approach.

On Being the Alternative: We are the third player. I am here for the long term. The rest of my life is for politics. My next target is the ­assembly elections.

On Turning Crowds at Rallies into Votes: The crowds were there and voted. Many youngsters who listened to us also voted for us. Don’t forget we are a one-year-old party. The future generations will come on board.

On the Modi Government: As citizens of India, we will not do anything to impede or disturb the government, but we will not ­assist in policy.

On the Godse Remark I had said it ­before and was only repeating it. I would have said it anywhere. It was just a casual statement. They picked it from the middle of a conversation and took it to another level.

On Funding Part of the expenses of this election came out of my pocket. And I even paid tax on it. Some of our LS candidates did not spend more than Rs 7 lakh. The ­assembly candidates spent just Rs 3 lakh. Our politics is based on trust, not money. I will do films and TV as that is my livelihood and I don’t earn from politics.

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