Rajinikanth’s entry may shake up Tamil Nadu parties and alliances as they prepare for the Tamil Nadu polls due in five months.
Superstar Rajinikanth on Thursday sprung a surprise by announcing his decision to join politics just weeks after he talked about being advised by doctors that his health may not be up to the challenge.
“I am willing to sacrifice my life for the sake of Tamil people,” the 69-year-old announced with a dramatic mix of idealism, daring, sacrifice and emotion befitting the “Thalaiva (leader)” of movies.
Even after Rajinikanth met with district secretaries of his Rajini Makkal Mandram on Monday, not many were hopeful. When he sought more time, they thought their leader was setting them up for disappointment.
But Rajinikanth has played the “will he, won’t he” game too long. Some believe it may be too late in the day, given his age and health.
Given the right circumstances, Rajinikanth’s entry may shake up Tamil Nadu parties and alliances as they prepare for the Tamil Nadu polls due in five months.
The veteran is seen to be close to the BJP’s ideology. “Rajinikanth’s views are similar to the BJP’s. We would appeal to him to support us,” said BJP spokesperson Narayanan Thirupathi.
Rajinikanth has always denied leaning towards the BJP though his statements in support of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policies suggested otherwise.
Last year, days after the government ended special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Rajinikanth compared PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah to “Krishna and Arjun” from the Mahabharata. In February, he backed the Citizenship Amendment Act.
While many accuse him of soft Hindutva, Rajinikanth has tried to make a clear distinction, saying his party is beyond caste, creed and religion and he will practise “spiritual” politics. His supporters say this means his party will appeal to people of all castes and religions.
At 69, can Rajinikanth pull off an NTR?
NTR or NT Rama Rao, was a mega star before he joined politics in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh. He launched his political party in 1982 and months later, he became Chief Minister at the age of 59.
In Tamil Nadu, which has always seen rivals AIADMK and DMK dominating elections, and where caste plays a huge role, where does Rajinikanth stand with his yet-to-be launched party and a pledge to steer clear of caste, creed or religion?
The dominant castes in the state already have their champions — the Gounders have Chief Minister E Palanisami of the AIADMK, the Thevars have Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, the Vanniyars have Ramadoss and the scheduled castes have the VCK (Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi).
Fans do not necessarily convert into party cadre. The appeal of the ageless superstar would be as a face around which people can be mobilized. Without a larger organisational structure, he will find it hard to fight and win elections on his own.
Reference Link: https://www.ndtv.com/