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Forward Bloc gets star for poll run

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By M.R. VENKATESH in Chennai
  • Published 8.01.06

Chennai, Jan. 8: The Forward Bloc is banking on star appeal to do well in the Tamil Nadu polls. Three months ahead of the elections, the Left Front partner has wooed a movie actor who had never been in politics and put him at the helm of the state unit.

Karthik, in his early forties, has acted in over 100 films and has a large following among the state’s youth. His appointment as chairman of the state unit is expected to enlist the support of his fan clubs in every district.

Tamil Nadu had provided hundreds of recruits for the Azad Hind Fauj, the liberation army led by the party’s founder, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. After Independence, the Forward Bloc was nurtured in the state by the late freedom fighter, Pasumponn Muthuramalinga Thevar. Even today, the Thevar community forms the party’s support base.

“It’s a great honour to head the party with its great tradition going back to Netaji and Pasumponn Thevar,” an excited Karthik told The Telegraph. “I shall strive to take their ideals forward.”

He is ready to welcome fellow actors into the party if they are willing to follow its norms.

The circular from the central committee appointing Karthik to the top post arrived last evening. The party’s lone MLA, L. Santhanam, will continue as general secretary.

Forward Bloc’s all-India general secretary Debabrata Biswas “has appointed Karthik after consultations with the state unit and we are very happy with this development”, Santhanam said over phone from Tuticorin.