Samraj (Sathyaraj) and Rajmohan (Rajesh) are good friends who become enemies due to a false theft accusation on Samraj. Rajmohan becomes a great political leader whereas Samraj becomes a great smuggler. With Rajmohan's political influence, Samraj smuggling business was affected. Radha (Ambika), Rajmohan's girlfriend, works as a junior assistant for his friend who hands an important file to her. It contains details on Samraj's illegal business. Knowing this, Samraj tries to retrieve the file, only to get Radha in trouble. When Samraj realises that she is in trouble he tries to help and consecutively falls in love with her. Radha lets Samraj know that she has a child by Rajmohan and that affair was unofficial.
Police officials respond to the order of Rajmohan and try to arrest Samraj. He escapes most occasions and continues to be king of smugglers. Finally when Rajmohan attempts to revenge Samraj, Samraj close friends and team (Nizhalgal Ravi and Raguvaran) get killed. Samraj becomes extremely ferocious and chases Rajmohan at his residence with firearms, kills plenty of his party men, but hesitates to kill Rajmohan as Radha intercepts.
This movie has two ends. One in which a police officer kills Samraj and another in which Radha kills Rajmohan after Samrat is dead. Both climaxes were well received by the audience.
Makkal En Pakkam is a remake of the Malayalam film Rajavinte Makan (1986), itself inspired by Sidney Sheldon's novel Rage of Angels (1980). Alex Mathew, who appeared as a student leader in the Malayalam film, reprised his role in the Tamil remake. Sathyaraj said he accepted to act in the film because it was a remake of a successful film, and was guaranteed to do well. Makkal En Pakkam, like a previous Sathyaraj film Palaivana Rojakkal (1986), was made with political overtones.