Rajinikanth fans protest in Chennai against groups opposing his political debut
This comes amid intensifying speculation that Rajinikanth is thinking about joining politics. The BJP has said it would welcome the 66-year-old actor and that he enjoyed a personal rapport with Prime Minister Narendra Modiindia Updated: May 23, 2017 13:09 IST
Fans of Tamil superstar Rajinikanth went on a rampage in north Chennai on Tuesday morning against outfits who have advised the popular actor to stay out of politics, forcing police to cloak the city in a security blanket.
Rajini fan club members abused pro-Tamil outfit Naam Tamilar Katchi Seeman and Veeralakshmi, president of a little-known group called Tamil Munnetra Padai.
Around fifty of them congregated at Washermanpet but police prevented them from burning effigies of the ‘villians’ who dared to take on their Thalaivaa. Forty people were detained by police, who doused the flames after fans set fire to the effigies.
This comes amid intensifying speculation that Rajinikanth – whose fan base runs into millions – is thinking about joining politics. The rumours swept the state in recent days after the actor called on his fans to “prepare for war”.
The actor did not elaborate on what exactly he meant. But a close associate from his earlier days as a bus conductor told a local TV channel that Rajinikanth has made up his mind to join politics. The BJP has said it would welcome the 66-year-old actor and that he enjoyed a personal rapport with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Police have stepped up vigil across Chennai and Tamil Nadu following tensions, after many Tamil groups came out strongly against Rajinikanth, advising him to stick to films. Rajinikanth’s residence in the posh Poes Gardens colony in central Chennai was also put under extra vigil, with a team of 50 to 60 police personnel guarding the building round the clock.
Films are an emotive issue in a state that has seen several film stars turn politician and even become chief minister, such as J Jayalalithaa who died last December. There are hundreds of film clubs across the state and fans often turn violent if they feel that their hero was insulted.