Jayalalithaa lost 1996 polls because of me: Rajinikanth | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Jayalalithaa lost 1996 polls because of me: Rajinikanth

Recalling his strong statements against her during the 1996 assembly polls, Rajinikanth said, “I had hurt her. I was a key reason for her defeat.”

india Updated: Dec 12, 2016 11:20 IST
PTI
1996 assembly polls

Actor Rajinikanth paying his last respects to AIADMK Supremo J Jayalalithaa, at Rajaji Hall in Chennai on December 6.(PTI)

‘Superstar’ Rajinikanth on Sunday paid rich tributes to late Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa, describing her as a ‘Kohinoor diamond’ who had made her way up through difficulties in a male-dominated society.

The actor was at a condolence meeting organised by the South Indian Artistes’ Association or the Nadigar Sangam for Jayalalithaa and actor-journalist Cho S Ramaswami.

Recalling his strong statements against her during the 1996 assembly polls, Rajinikanth said, “I had hurt her. I was a key reason for her defeat.”

The actor had then famously remarked that “even god can’t save Tamil Nadu” if Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK was elected to power again. The then DMK-TMC (Tamil Maanila Congress) combine had swept the polls amid strong anti-incumbency.

Jayalalithaa, however, later proved to be a “golden-hearted” leader, Rajinikanth said,

The actor said it was with great difficulty that she could take over the reins of the AIADMK following the death of its founder and her political mentor MG Ramachandran, but she had even overtaken him in achievements.

Having lost her father at the age of two and mother 20 years later, she faced various challenges including having no family but achieved fame by hard work in a male-dominated society, he said.

Read| Tamil Nadu: After Jayalalithaa, the field is now wide open

“Today, she is resting like a kohinoor diamond at the MGR memorial site and enjoys the love and affection of so many people.”

The challenges in her life polished her further, he added.

He also paid rich tributes to Ramaswamy, a veteran journalist, satirist, playwright and actor died of illness on December 7. Ramaswamy was Rajinikanth’s long time friend.

Read| Not Amma to all: The other side of Jayalalithaa’s legacy