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More stardust in Tamil Nadu as DMK chief Stalin’s son signals political intent

Udayanidhi Stalin is the latest film personality in Tamil Nadu to announce his intention to join politics.

india Updated: Jan 23, 2018 14:22 IST
KV Lakshmana
KV Lakshmana
Hindustan Times, Chennai
Tamil nadu,DMK,MK Stalin
Hoardings hailing DMK working president MK Stalin’s son Udayanidhi Stalin have sprung up in many districts in Tamil Nadu.(HT PHOTO)

DMK working president MK Stalin’s son Udayanidhi Stalin, an actor and producer now wants to play an active role in the state’s politics to help the party take on arch rival AIADMK and the also the BJP.

In a recent interview to a Tamil website, Udayanidhi announced his intention to enter politics and work for the party and campaign during the elections whenever they are held.

A film producer who has worked with several leading stars and began acting himself later, Udayanidhi said that he was a member of the DMK even before he joined films in 2008 when he produced his first film Kuruvi with Vijay and Trisha in the lead. He has been producing films and has done cameos in some films before he debuted as an actor and won the best debutant award in south India Filmfare awards in 2012.

“At a time when many actors are entering politics, it is time for me too to engage in active politics,” Udayanidhi said in the interview.

The opposition DMK in Tamil Nadu has begun preparing for local body polls and possible snap assembly elections. The party hopes Udayanidhi will add additional star power to the party’s campaign where his father Stalin is the star campaigner.

The 40-year-old Udayanidhi is relatively lightweight compared to Tamil cinema’s two biggest names -- Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth.

“Though he is not in the league of a Kamal Haasan or a Rajinikanth, he sure would bring his own strength as an actor with support among the youth,” said John Arokiaswamy, political analyst and perception strategist.

After the DMK’s shocking loss in RK Nagar by-election last month with its candidate losing his deposit, the party has launched a damage control while seeking to add to its star power. It is as part of this that Udayanidhi could assume a more active role in the party.

Already at few places in Chennai and other districts hoarding of Udayanidhi Narpani Mandram (Udayanidhi charity forum) have sprung up, reportedly put up by fan clubs of the actor and producer.

Stalin has already sacked local leaders in RK Nagar and has turned his attention to party machinery. From February 1, he will meet the office bearers of all the 32 districts and streamline their functioning and iron out differences among the local leaders, party sources said.

The DMK is also likely to leverage the acquittal of A Raja and Kanimozhi in the 2G spectrum case which has blunted the corruption taint on the party.

First Published: Jan 23, 2018 14:21 IST