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Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019

‘In Tamil Nadu’s interest’: Rajinikanth on joining forces with Kamal Haasan

The possible alliance of the state’s top two actors could add a new dimension to politics in Tamil Nadu that has largely remained bipolar so far.

india Updated: Nov 19, 2019 23:04 IST
MC Rajan
MC Rajan
Hindustan Times, Chennai
Celluloid superstar Rajinikanth said he would join hands with Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) party founder Kamal Haasan for the welfare of people of Tamil Nadu if such a situation arose.
Celluloid superstar Rajinikanth said he would join hands with Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) party founder Kamal Haasan for the welfare of people of Tamil Nadu if such a situation arose.(HT PHOTO)
         

Celluloid superstar Rajinikanth on Tuesday said he would join hands with actor-turned politician, rival and friend Kamal Haasan for the welfare of people of Tamil Nadu if such a situation arose in an endorsement of the latter’s view that they should team up in the interest of the state.

Earlier in the day, Haasan, founder of Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) party told the media that he was ready for an alliance if the need arose for that. By the evening, Rajinikanth endorsed it with the same reasoning.

Till now both have skirted the question of having an electoral alliance, though on a few occasions, the MNM founder had put the ball in Rajinikanth’s court.

“If there is a need for both us to join hands and travel together we will do so in the interest and development of Tamil Nadu,” was Hassan’s response to questions while talking to reporters.

“If the situation demands and there is a need for us to proceed together in politics in the interest of the people, we will forge ahead and travel unitedly,” Rajinikanth made it clear while talking to the media at the airport. Responding to a question, he said, “When the need arises, we will team up.”

This is for the first time that both actors have expressed the willingness for an alliance. Assembly polls in the state are scheduled for 2021. Till now, Rajinikanth had maintained that he would launch his political party and contest all the 234 assembly constituencies as and when elections are announced.

The possible alliance of the state’s top two actors could add a new dimension to politics in Tamil Nadu that has largely remained bipolar so far.

Interestingly, Tuesday’s development comes close on the heels of Rajinikanth’s barb at Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) whose survival in power, he said, was a miracle.

“Two years ago, Edappadi Palaniswami would not even have dreamt of becoming Chief Minister. And they said, he would not last even for a few days. But, he had survived for more than two years. It is a miracle. Miracles happened yesterday. It is happening today and might happen tomorrow,” he said on Sunday, inviting condemnation from the AIADMK.

The superstar who made this remark at the concert by maestro Ilayaraja on Sunday night to commemorate 60 years of Haasan’s career in films, had then ducked the issue of joining hands with the MNM founder. Though both Rajinikanth and Haasan shared the stage, they only displayed the warmth of their friendship.

It was filmmaker and popular actor Vijay’s father, SA Chandrasekhar, who appealed to them to walk together in politics.

“Rajinikanth is mass and Kamal is class. And if they join together nothing can stop them. Later on, they could leave the space for their brothers who are in films,” he had said then.

The response to his plea had come only on Tuesday with the local media going gaga over the duo clearing the deck for a likely alliance.

The ruling AIADMK, has dismissed the likelihood the two coming together as inconsequential.

“It is immaterial and inconsequential. The AIADMK is not worried about actors joining hands,” was the reaction of Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar.

While Haasan had distanced from the BJP long back, saying ‘my colour is black and not saffron’, Rajinikanth has recently made it clear that ‘attempts to paint him in saffron will not succeed.’

The duo has consistently targeted the Dravidian parties charging them as corrupt and inept. They also drew flak from the ruling AIADMK as well as the principal opposition, DMK, by taunting them about a political void and leadership vacuum in Tamil Nadu.

While Tamil Nadu waits for Rajinikanth to launch his party, Haasan’s MNM fought the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and secured around 5 per cent vote share.