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Kamal Haasan calls on Karunanidhi, Rajinikanth; says meeting people he likes

Kamal Haasan will formally launch his party and unveil his party flag at Madurai on February 21, marking the commencement of his political journey.

india Updated: Feb 18, 2018 23:43 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Chennai
Kamal Haasan,Rajinikanth,Politics
Kamal Haasan called on 93-year old Karunanidhi at his residence in Chennai on Sunday night.(ANI/Twitter)

Days ahead of taking the political plunge, veteran filmstar Kamal Haasan met DMK President M Karunanidhi and superstar Rajinikanth on Sunday, and said he is calling on those “whom I like” before the formal launch of his party on February 21.

After meeting the fellow actor earlier in the day, Haasan called on 93-year old Karunanidhi at his residence here on Sunday night.

Karunanidhi’s son and DMK working president MK Stalin received Haasan and greeted him.

Emerging from the brief meeting with Karunanidhi, Haasan told reporters he called on the former chief minister to get his blessings and inform him about his political journey.

Replying to a question, he said he admired Karunanidhi’s political acumen, proficiency in Tamil and concern for people’s welfare.

Asked whether he would have a tie-up with DMK, the actor said it was for that party to take a call after it understood his ideology. “DMK’s ideology is known. If my ideology suits them, they can think about it.”

Incidentally, Rajinikanth had met Karunanidhi last month, days after announcing his political plunge, and sought his blessings.

Both Haasan and Rajinikanth, who command a huge fan following, have announced they will enter politics.

Rajinikanth said he prayed for “divine blessings” to be bestowed on his friend Haasan and wished him success in his political endeavours.

Rajinikanth said he and Hassan had different styles in cinema, a possible indication that they may go separate ways in politics too.

Haasan had said a few days ago that an alliance between the two was unlikely if Rajinikanth’s colour was “saffron”, an apparent reference to the BJP. Rajinikanth has good equations with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Speaking to reporters after meeting Rajinikanth at his Poes Garden residence here, Haasan said he had called on the screen idol as he was meeting “those whom I like” ahead of the launch of his political party.

He has so far met chief ministers of Kerala and Delhi-- Pinarayi Vijayan and Arvind Kejriwal-- besides former chief election commissioner T N Seshan and veteran state CPI leader R Nallakannu.

“When I decided to take the (political) journey, I had informed him (Rajinikanth). Now, before leaving for the journey, I came to inform those whom I like,” Haasan said about the meeting.

“This is not a political meeting but a friendly one. Friendship was dominant (at the meeting),” he added. Haasan declined to reveal what exactly transpired at the meeting.

Later, Rajinikanth told reporters that Haasan invited him for the latter’s “political journey,” apparently meaning the launch of the actor’s political party.

“My friend Kamal has come to politics not for money or fame, but has come to do good for the people of Tamil Nadu and take care of them. I pray to God for his blessings (on Haasan). I wish him success,” he said.

Rajinikanth, who has also said he would join politics, indicated the style of working of the two contemporaries could be different although public service was their common goal.

“Even in cinema our styles are different.. so will it be in politics... but to do good for people is the main thing (for both of them),” Rajinikanth said.

The decision of the two top Tamil film stars to enter politics comes against the backdrop of a perceived vacuum in Tamil Nadu politics after the death of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa in December 2016.

The perception gained further currency due to indifferent health of Karunanidhi who is not actively involved in politics for over a year now.

Ever since the two declared they would enter politics, there has been a buzz about whether they would come together.

While Haasan recently wrote in a weekly that he and Rajinikanth needed to contemplate if it was necessary for them to join hands and face elections, the latter said only time will tell whether such a thing would happen.

Haasan will address a string of meetings and unveil his party flag at Madurai on February 21, marking the commencement of his political journey.

He will address public meetings at Ramanathapuram, Madurai, Manamadurai and Paramakudi that day.

First Published: Feb 18, 2018 21:58 IST