HW English

Kamal Haasan meets Congress leaders; denies discussing the possibility of an alliance

In Delhi to complete formalities to register his political party, actor-politician Kamal Haasan has also followed up on his brief interaction with the Congress leadership on the sidelines of Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s swearing-in ceremony last month.

The president of Makkal Needhi Maiam, Kamal Haasan, on Thursday, 21 June, met UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi at her Delhi residence. “I met Sonia Gandhi and discussed the state of Tamil Nadu politics. However, I did not discuss the possibility of an alliance with the party,” Haasan was quoted by a news source as saying. The meeting came close on the heels of his meeting with Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday, 20 June, triggering speculations of a possible alliance between the two parties.

As he emerged from his meeting with Mrs Gandhi this morning, Mr Haasan suggested there was no development to report. To a question if it was a coincidence that he was only meeting leaders from the Congress, Mr Haasan, 63, insisted it was just a courtesy call. “More than them being leaders, they are one family. I met the son yesterday… and met the mother (today),” he said, a suggestion that his two meetings should be seen as one.

The Congress president shared a photograph of the two leaders shaking hands on Twitter and wrote that he enjoyed meeting Hassan. According to Gandhi, the two leaders discussed a wide range of issues, including the political situation in Tamil Nadu.

Mr Haasan insisted that it was “still too early” to speak of any tie-up between his party and the Congress and this topic hadn’t come up in his conversation with the Congress leaders. “We (only) discussed the political situation in Tamil Nadu … it as a general talk,” he said.

The 62-year-old film star announced his entry into politics in February this year, adding his name to a long list of superstars who have ventured into politics in Tamil Nadu. Kamal Haasan has been gathering new political friends among non-BJP parties and had made it a point to fly to Bengaluru last month to see Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy take over. It is here, Mr Haasan said, that he had first met Sonia Gandhi and Rahul. They had exchanged pleasantries and agreed to stay in touch.


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