Actor Kamal Haasan launches his political party "Makkal Needhi Maiam"

Actor Kamal Haasan launches his political party
Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan today formally launched his political party, named "Makkal Needhi Maiam" (People's Justice Centre, which he said would work to provide corruption-free governance in the state and avoid the use of religion  and caste in politics.
Launching the party, announcing its name and formalising his entry into politics at  a public meeting in this temple city, Kamal Haasan, 63, also indicated that he would follow centrist policies, without swaying to either the Left or the Right.
"The newly founded Makkal Needhi Maiam is your party. It’s here to stay, and to make the change we all aspire for. Guide us to serve you," he said on micro-blogging site Twitter later.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who launched his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in November 2012 and went on to win 67 of the 70 seats in the Delhi Legislative Assembly in the February 2015, was amongst those present on the occasion and said Haasan's new party would score an even bigger victory in the next elections in Tamil Nadu.
Kamal Haasan said he had planned to go about things in a gradual manner, but Mr. Kejriwal had virtually launched his election campaign.
A congratulatory video message received from Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was played out on a screen at the meeting.
Kamal Haasan promised the people that he would not indulge in the kind of "freebie politics" that was practised by the Dravidian parties in the state.
"I am not your leader, I am your tool... this gathering is full of leaders," he said.
He promised to serve the people till the very end and create an organisation for the next few generations. "There will be no permanent chief ministers if my party is voted to power," he said.
Asked to name leaders who had inspired him -- Mahatma Gandhi, Bhimrao Ambedkar or Periyar E. V. Ramasamy -- he said he respected and was inspired by all of them as well as by contemporary leaders such as Kejriwal, N Chandrababu Naidu, Pinarayi Vijayan and Barack Obama.
He listed quality education, elimination of corruption, regular supply of electricity and jobs as some of his priority areas. ""If you eliminate corruption, all this can be achieved," he said.
Earlier this morning, Kamal Haasan launched his political journey by visiting the residence of former President A P J Abdul Kalam at Rameswaram, where he met the late Mr. Kalam's elder brother and other family members.
"Greatness can come from simple beginnings. Actually it will come only from simplicity. Glad to start my journey from a great man’s simple abode," he had said ahead of the visit to Rameswaram.
Later, he also addressed the fishing community in Rameswaram before heading to Madurai.
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