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Rajinikanth, Modi to meet? Speculation over superstar’s political debut with BJP

BJP leaders have been speaking to national president Amit Shah saying the veteran Tamil actor was welcome to the party if he decided join the state politics.

india Updated: Jun 12, 2017 21:14 IST
KV Lakshmana
KV Lakshmana
Hindustan Times, Chennai
Rajinikanth,Chennai,Tamil politics
Actor Rajinikanth is very popular in Tamil Nadu.(File Photo)

Talk that Rajinikanth could visit New Delhi soon to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi has intensified speculations that the Tamil superstar is set to take the plunge into politics.

Rajinikanth has not said anything yet about his Delhi visit, but BJP leaders are optimistic that the star with a huge fan following would join the party, helping it to make inroads into the state so long dominated by the DMK and the AIADMK.

State BJP leaders say Rajinikanth and Modi enjoy a personal rapport. The superstar was one among the three people that the prime minister had called upon during his last visit to the state. The other two were the then-ailing chief minister J Jayalalithaa and political commenter Cho Ramaswamy.

BJP leaders have already been making the right noises about Rajinikanth with national president Amit Shah saying the veteran actor was welcome to the party once he made up his mind to join politics.

Local party leaders including senior office bearer H Raja have also appealed to the star to join the BJP.

Speculations about Rajinikanth joining politics have swept the state in recent days after the actor called on his fans to “prepare for war”. The actor, however, did not elaborate what exactly he meant.

But a close associate of the actor from his earlier days as a bus conductor told a local TV channel that Rajinikanth has made up his mind to join politics.

Raj Bahadur said he met Rajinikanth a couple of days ago. “I asked him if he had made up his mind and he said yes, now I am ready, having deeply studied politics for the last 20 years”.

Raj Bahadur and Rajinikanth have been friends for 57 years, since the days when they operated a city bus on Route No 10A. Raj Bahadur was a driver while Rajinikanth was the bus conductor.

The Congress is hoping that the superstar will not join the BJP. “He will float his own party,” Tamil Nadu Congress president S Thirunavukkarasar said.

Security outside Rajinikanth’s house stepped up

Pro-Tamil parties have come out openly against Rajinikanth, threatening to gherao the superstar for his allegedly pro-Kannada neutrality during the height of Cauvery river water sharing crisis between the two states.

While fringe groups like Naam Tamilar Katchi of actor Seeman have blasted Rajinikanth and said he should not enter politics, a relatively unknown outfit called Tamilar Munnetra Padai announced it would picket Rajikinath today.

Following this, the police stepped up security around the residence of Rajinikanth in Poes Garden. According to police sources, some 60 personnel were posted on security duty to guard his residence.

A few protesters burnt an effigy of the superstar and shouted slogans saying that he should not enter politics. The protesters sloganeered, “Avar arisiyal varakkodaadu (he should not enter politics).”

Police prevented the protesters from marching towards the actor’s Poes Garden home and kept them under watch at marriage hall in Royapettah.

First Published: May 22, 2017 12:27 IST