Latest in Chennai: Is Rajinikanth joining BJP in Tamil Nadu?

While speculation rife in state capital, superstar’s fans call it only a rumour

shivani

Shivani Chaturvedi | October 6, 2014 | Chennai


Rajinikanth had sparked off the rumour mills earlier, too, when Narendra Modi made a courtesy call in April.
FILE PHOTO

Nearly six months after Narendra Modi, then the opposition BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, met Rajinikanth at the actor’s Chennai home and set the rumour mills working overtime about the superstar jumping on the Modi bandwagon, Chennai is again rife with speculations. And, again, it’s about the saffron party trying to bring Rajinikanth in its fold.

The BJP, which has several filmstar-MPs in Lok Sabha and has always attracted celebrities in its fold, began leveraging the popularity of cinema stars in Tamil Nadu even before the general elections this May. Besides calling on Rajinikanth on April 13, Modi also met Tamil actor Vijay in the state capital.
“Since there is a vacuum in state politics today, this would be a wonderful opportunity for the BJP as well as for Rajinikanth,” said a city-based political commentator when asked about the possibility of the superstar joining the saffron fold.

“The BJP had already tuned into a Dravidian party’s mould, falling into a trap of personality politics,” pointed out C Lakshmanan who teaches at Madras Institute of Development Studies (MIDS), adding that talks about getting Rajinikanth should be seen in this context.

Having opened its account in the general elections from Tamil Nadu and steadily emerging as an alternative in the fractious AIADMK-DMK politics, with the Congress not even in the margins any longer, (read Jaya’s absence could mean Advantage BJP in Tamil Nadu), the superstar joining the party would come as a real shot in the arm for BJP.

However, Rajinikanth’s fans feel that if Thalaivar (The Boss, one of Rajini's recent silver screen siccesses) wants to join politics he would float his own party rather than joining any other political party. “There is a political crisis in the state, so Rajinikanth’s name is being floated around,” said Rajini fan D Ranganatha Prabhu. “Rajinikanth is not someone who makes use of a situational opportunity. He is an icon capable of carving his own way, so it is highly unlikely that he would endorse any party making use of the current political scenario.”

Earlier, following Modi’s “courtesy call” before the general elections, Rajinikanth had told the media that he was a “well-wisher” of Modi and wished him “all the best”. Modi had described the actor as a “good friend”.

“This is not a political meeting. When Modiji visited me when I was hospitalised, I had invited him to have a cup of tea with me whenever he came to Chennai. So he has come now,” Rajinikanth had told following the meeting at his Poes Garden residence.

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