Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) founder Arvind Kejriwal is now busy wooing Tamil film actor Kamal Haasan to enter politics. He flew down to Chennai today for lunch with the actor. Kamal Haasan’s youngest daughter Akshara received him at the airport.
Kamal Haasan, 63, recently confirmed that he is considering a political career. He met Kejriwal and other AAP leaders at his ancestral home in Chennai, which doubles up as his office.
The Delhi Chief Minister’s flash visit to Chennai comes on the back of his return to Delhi after a nine-day meditation break in Maharashtra.
The two men made comments praising each other. Kejriwal has asked Kamal Haasan to take the political plunge. They will stay in regular touch.
Kamal Haasan had last met the AAP chief in 2015 to discuss a film shoot in Delhi. “The current state of national politics will be discussed,” a source close to the Chief Minister had said on the lunch meeting. The two have been in touch over the past two years and share a “mutual respect”.
This is the second Chief Minister that the actor has interacted with after meeting Kerala’s Marxist Pinarayi Vijayan. At a meet organised by The Hindu Tamil last week, the actor had said: “Yes, I met Pinarayi and I may meet a few other Chief Ministers. This is political tourism.”
Kamal Haasan, currently the host of the Tamil version of the popular Bigg Boss TV show, has made it increasingly clear in recent months that his political plunge is on the cards. This is quite unlike the more ambiguous will-he-won’t-he statements of the other Tamil superstar, Rajinikanth.
He has often posted acerbic tweets commenting on the internal churning and power struggle in Tamil Nadu’s ruling AIADMK since Jayaram Jayalalithaa’s death last December. He also attended an event organised by the opposition DMK last month.
AAP leaders have refused to comment on speculation that Kamal Haasan’s meeting with Kejriwal indicates a starry acquisition for the party in the south.
“There is a political void in Tamil Nadu’s Game of Thrones,” commented an AAP leader.
Kejriwal has made known his political ambition to play a big role at the national level. In the last general election in early 2014, he contested against Narendra Modi from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and lost badly. He audaciously fielded his candidates in 432 Lok Sabha seats and ended up winning just four. His performance as the chief minister has been erratic. Quite a few stalwarts who were with him when AAP was founded four years ago have dumped him and floated their own little outfit. His ministers have been in trouble for taking bribes or for beating up their wives.
To a question on his political plunge, Kamal Haasan last week told The Quint: “Yes, I am thinking on those lines, not out of choice but compulsion. Which political party can provide me with a platform or an ideology that will match my reformatory goals in politics?