Rajinikanth’s political rally marred by ‘illegal’ posters; Kamal takes a jibe
On Monday, ahead of his first big public rally at the MGR University in Chennai where he also unveiled the statue of the late chief minister MGR, Rajinikanth came in for criticism as huge, obtrusive posters lined the roads leading to the venue.Updated: Mar 05, 2018 19:58 IST
Over-enthusiastic fan clubs could end up marring the political ambitions of Tamil superstar Rajinikanth, who announced his formal entry into politics last December.
On Monday, ahead of his first big public rally at the MGR University in Chennai where he also unveiled the statue of the late chief minister MGR, the film star came in for criticism as huge, obtrusive posters lined the roads leading to the venue.
And the first to take potshots at Rajinikanth was his screen-and now-political rival, Kamal Haasan, who said, “Change must come from within.”
The offending hoardings and posters were erected by the Maduravoyal Rajinikanth Forum in clear violation of a Madras High Court order after death of a motorist in Coimbatore when a hoarding fell on him in November last year.
Social activist Traffic Ramaswamy said though the Chennai Municipal Corporation had told the high court that all illegal posters and hoardings had been removed, the ground reality was different.
The over 6 km stretch between Koyambdeu and Maduravoyal was chock-a-block with huge hoardings of different shapes and sizes, posing a risk to motorists and making it difficult for pedestrians to negotiate their way around the area.
Rajinikanth while announcing his entry into politics last December had pointed out the failure of systems and how he wanted to make a meaningful change to governance.
“Strangely, Rajinikanth who speaks of sweeping out the old and bringing a refreshingly new manner of doing politics swears by the same old propaganda and publicity, and perhaps gets flattered by the size of the posters put up by his fans,” said political analyst John Arokiaswamy.
Activist Traffic Ramaswamy, who has been fighting against illegal hoardings for the past several years and has also filed a petition in the Madras High Court, said these banners were clearly in violation of regulations and they must be removed.
It was in response to his plea that the Madras High Court on March 2 had ordered the removal of illegal digital banners with immediate effect. Ramaswamy also pointed out that often the police are reluctant to act against illegal hoardings and posters.
Said Arokiaswamy, “If Rajinikanth wants to cleanse the system that he feels is rotten then he must start practicing what he preaches and get his fans to remove all the posters.”
On February 28, Ramaswamy had written a letter to the Chief Justice of the Madras high court saying that on February 24 huge banners were erected by the ruling AIADMK and the BJP during the 70th birth anniversary celebrations of late chief minister J Jayalalithaa, near Kalaivanar Arangam. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also participated in the function.
Ramaswamy had alleged that the banners were erected without any permission from the civic authorities.