The Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) of Superstar turned politician Kamal Haasan and Ngan Tamilar Katchi (NTK) of actor, director turned politician Seeman will have to prove themselves in the urban local body polls likely to be taking place in February end.Both MNM and NTK were relegated to oblivion during the recent rural local body polls in eight districts, in which both the parties could not get even a single seat.Drawing a blank in an election to the local bodies and coming down in vote percentage is clear proof that the parties are turning irrelevant in the political firmament of Tamil Nadu.Kamal Haasan had come to the political scenario of the state with a bang roping in several former bureaucrats, industrialists, and social activists, but the party could not perform as expected and most of the senior leaders left the party for good. In the 2021 Assembly elections, the party supreme leader and superstar of South Indian movies, Kamal Haasan also faced electoral loss at the Coimbatore Assembly constituency to the BJP leader Vanathi Sreenivasan.In the rural local body elections, the MNM lost heavily and there were seats in which MNM's vote tally was even below the independents. After the elections, Kamal Haasan has assured the cadres that the MNM could at least contest in all the seats it wanted and that the barometer of the organisation was not winning the elections but ideology.Kamal Haasan has already revamped the party committee and has deputed his trusted aides in crucial party posts.
R. Padmanabhan, Director, Socio-Economic Development Foundation, a think tank while speaking to IANS said, "If Kamal Haasan does not rework his strategies and connect to the masses, I don't think that there is a future to the party in 2022 and the best chance is the next Urban local body elections that is likely to take place in February. The party has to win at least a few seats otherwise it will be difficult to hold the flock together."Similarly the Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK) of actor, director turned politician, Seeman is also facing a similar situation. The party, which had raised ultra Tamil nationalism as its plank, was however not able to win a single seat in the 2021 Assembly elections. Seeman took up several volatile issues, but failed to strike a chord with the people and the party leaders said that they are determined to make a mark in the ensuing Urban local body polls of 2022.K. Arumugham, state office-bearer of NTK while speaking to IANS said, "NTK is a political party that caters to the needs of the people especially the downtrodden. Not winning an election does not mean that the issues raised by us are not valid, we will be winning a few seats in the ensuing urban local body polls. The campaign that NTK will be finished if we won't win seats is absurd. In politics, patience is important and people will accept the ideology that we have put forward and are expecting positive results in the coming days."The MNM and NTK will have to rework their strategies and win a few seats to be in the reckoning in the political firmament of Tamil Nadu. 2022 can be a game-changer for these two political parties only if they get a breakthrough in the urban local body polls.