Actor-politician Kamal Haasan on Saturday said his party Makkal Needhi Maiam will contest all 40 seats in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, The Times of India reported.

In November, he had said the party, launched in February, will contest the bye-elections to 20 Assembly seats in Tamil Nadu whenever they are held. The bye-polls became necessary after the Madras High Court upheld the disqualification of 18 All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MLAs for supporting Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam leader TTV Dhinakaran. The Assembly seats of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader M Karunanidhi and AIADMK leader AK Bose have also been vacant since their deaths.

Haasan on Saturday added that his party would prioritise Tamil Nadu’s development and would refrain from forming an alliance with any party that “tries to change Tamil Nadu’s DNA”, the Hindustan Times reported. Haasan said his party is open to “alliances with like-minded parties”.

In October, Haasan had said his party was willing to ally with the Congress for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections if the Rahul Gandhi-led party severed its ties with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. Haasan had met Gandhi and former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in June to discuss the political scenario in Tamil Nadu.

Haasan has been a critic of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam-led Tamil Nadu government.