Chennai: Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam will contest the 2019 Lok Sabha polls with the “battery torch” symbol.

Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan took to Twitter to thank the Election Commission. In his tweet, he said, “MNM will endeavour to be the “torch-bearer” for a new era in not only Tamil Nadu politics but also national politics.”

The EC had allotted common symbols to 38 other unrecognised political parties for the upcoming polls.

Earlier, Makkal Needhi Maiam founder Kamal Haasan said the party will field candidates in all the 40 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. Haasan ruled out an alliance with the AIADMK and the DMK and said they will go alone in the polls.

“We aim to serve the people of Tamil Nadu with a clean hand. So, we do not want to stain our hands,” he said.

He had said in the past that MNM would ally with like-minded parties. A meeting with Congress president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi had sparked speculation that MNM would tie-up with the Congress. However, the Congress is in alliance with the DMK, a party Haasan is not keen on joining hands.

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Actor-comedian Kovai Sarala joined Makkal Needhi Maiam at a function organised in Chennai.

In an address to party members, Sarala said that Makkal Needs Maiam has an increasing number of women members as functionaries in the party.

“Women are repressed in Tamil Nadu. This must change and we must ensure that men in our homes vote for a party that will work for development of women,” added Sarala.

Welcoming women to the party, Kamal Haasan said, “Its is heartening to see that women who have contributed to the betterment of the society through various fields, have joined our party.”

He added that he understood that women are a force to reckon with. Urging women to understand their strengths and potentials, he said women empowerment will occur only when there is  realisation.