Kamal’s party MNM invites applications to contest Assembly by-elections

Chennai: Actor-politician Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) today invited applications from aspiring candidates for the by-elections to the 18 Assembly seats.

The announcement comes days after Kamal said his party was ready to face the elections.

The 18 April by-polls are considered most crucial as it would either make or break the stability of the K Palaniswami-led AIADMK government. It needs to win at least seven seats to retain its majority in the 234-member House.

Kamal, who on Sunday, had said his party would contest the by-polls, said the application forms for the by-polls will be available from today. As in the case of the 2019 general elections, he invited members and non-members to apply for the seats.

An MNM release said the forms can also be downloaded from the website of the party. The filled-in forms have to be submitted along with a demand draft for Rs 10,000 and all documents on or before 16 March.

The party, launched in February 2018, has made corruption in the government a key issue.

The Assembly by-polls are being held along with the parliamentary elections in Tamilnadu. Of the 18 seats, 16 had fallen vacant following the disqualification of ruling AIADMK MLAs loyal to rival party leader T T V Dhinakaran. The Tiruvarur by-poll was necessitated by the death DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi, who was a sitting MLA.

The Hosur seat fell vacant following the disqualification of minister K Balakrishna Reddy after his conviction in a decades-old criminal case.

By-elections to Tiruparankundram, Ottapidaram and Aravakurichi constituencies, are not being held now as election petitions are pending in the Madras High Court. However, the DMK has urged the Election Commission to hold by-polls to three vacant Assembly seats also and the case is coming up in the Supreme Court tomorrow.

NT Bureau