02 August, 2021

The Third Dimension

In the Tamil state’s bipolar politics, three ‘others’ try to make an impact

City Push
Kamal Haasan has fielded his most visible candidates from urban seats
The Third Dimension

What is common among a filmstar-turned- politician, a film director-turned-public speaker spewing extreme Tamil nationalism and a chubby-faced, smooth-talking young scion of a powerful family? All three are angling for electoral space in the state domina­ted by the DMK and the AIADMK.

Kamal Haasan, a three-time national award-winning actor, and his political party Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM), Seeman, director of five Tamil films and a powerful orator, with his Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK), and T.T.V. Dhinakaran, nephew of J.  Jayalalitha’s now retired aide Sasikala, with his breakaway outfit called Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) have ­assembled their own alliances to take on the might of the multi-party ­alliances forged by M.K. Stalin of the DMK and Edappadi K. Palaniswami of the AIADMK. Their targets are voters not committed to either of the major fronts, those looking for a non-DMK-AIADMK alternative and the large bunch of first-time voters. “These three are competing among themselves to emerge as a viable third front that can challenge the...

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