- "Proud being the chariot puller than being the chariot": Kamal Hassan
- His party manifesto promises jobs, equal pay and reservation for women
- MNM has not tied up with the AIADMK and the DMK for national polls
Actor-politician Kamal Haasan on Sunday said he would not contest the coming Lok Sabha elections. Releasing the party manifesto and the second list of candidates of his Makkal Needhi Maiam or MNM at a function in Chennai today, Mr Haasan said, "All candidates are my faces. I am proud being the chariot puller than being the chariot".
The 64-year-old also came up with a big list of promises that highlighted jobs, equal pay and reservation for women and an astounding 100 per cent profit for farmers.
He said he would generate 50 lakh jobs and give women 50 per cent reservation in them. Women, he also said, would get paid as much as men. The other intriguing promise was ensuring that Governors of states get elected by its legislators. Mr Haasan also promised free WiFi, no toll on highways and home delivery of rations of the Public Distribution System.
The MNM had released its first list of 21 candidates for the Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry earlier this week. At the time, asked whether he would contest, Kamal Hassan had said, "I wish to contest but my party cadre will have to decide." He, however, had promised that Sunday's meeting would contain "surprises".
Launched a year ago, the MNM is meant to focus on the fight against corruption and development of rural Tamil Nadu.
It has not tied up with the Dravidian parties - the ruling AIADMK and the opposition DMK - that Mr Haasan had vehemently criticised. An alliance with the BJP was also ruled out early on by the party chief, who, today attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"PM Modi is the rich man's security guard. He doesn't meet journalists and his biggest achievement is bringing Tamil youth to Twitter for the #GoBackModi campaign," he said.
Initially, there was speculation that Kamal Haasan could ally with the Congress after the state Congress chief had hinted at it. A few days ago, a lesser known Republican Party of India had forged an alliance with the MNM.