Rajinikanth firms up political plans, looks at leaders to induct in outfit

The BJP has been wooing the star and has extended him an invite to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi.

Written by Arun Janardhanan | Chennai | Published: May 29, 2017 3:00 am
Rajinikanth, Rajinikanth politics, Rajinikanth political party, Rajinikanth in politics, bjp Rajinikanth, india news, indian express news Close aides of Rajinikanth said the BJP has also offered him help in launching his party.

AN AGENCY in Bengaluru is helping prepare superstar Rajinikanth’s political plunge, including studying the voting patterns in Tamil Nadu and the agendas he could pursue to appeal to voters. In meetings he held with well-wishers and friends last week, the star indicated he would be launching an outfit of his own, which could align with the BJP in the 2019 elections. Rajinikanth reportedly said that his speech on May 19, giving the clearest hint of his political intentions, was perhaps a little hasty.

The BJP has been wooing the star and has extended him an invite to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi. Close aides of the star said the BJP has also offered him help in launching his party. They also said Rajinikanth and his advisers are looking at inducting prominent political faces from other parties to jumpstart his outfit. One of the names being considered reportedly is Ma Foi Pandiarajan, former school education minister of the AIADMK who switched over to the O Panneerselvam camp against V K Sasikala in February 2017 but has strained relations with OPS now.

Sidelined DMK leader S Jagathrakshakan, a former two-time MP who served as minister under the UPA government, is another name on Rajinikanth’s list. “There are other potential names who may join us, including a senior AIADMK leader from Chennai and senior Congress leader Karate Thiagarajan,” a source said.

Also read  | Is BJP filling the political vacuum in Tamil Nadu and Kerala?

Asked about reports of him joining Rajinikanth, Thiagarajan said while he was holding a key post in the Congress, he would support the star’s outfit. “I know him for the past 30 years and am closely associated with his fan associations,” he said. According to an aide who is a part of Rajinikanth’s inner circle, “The star is also in constant touch with BJP leaders in Delhi. Thuglak editor (and RSS ideologue) S Gurumurthy is mentoring him.”

Rajinikanth’s team is looking at these names to add political heft as they estimate his vote base to be around 10 per cent, putting him in almost the same bracket as Captain Vijayakanth of the DMDK. In 2005, while Rajinikanth still debated joining politics, Vijayakanth raced past him and launched his party that garnered a vote share of 8 per cent in the 2006 polls. In the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, Vijayakanth’s vote share had grown, to nearly 10 per cent, but dropped to 5 per cent when he joined the NDA camp for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

The Rajinikanth aide, who coordinates his district-level fan associations, said the star knows that his popularity may not be enough. “Most of his fans are middle-aged or in their 50s. He remains unsure of his influence among the youth as well as Muslim followers as he fears that joining or aligning with the BJP will antagonise them. However, he is keen to fill the vacuum left by J Jayalalithaa,” the aide said.

Thiagarajan also believes Rajinikanth should act with caution regarding the BJP. “Speculation about an alliance with the BJP has emerged out of his friendship with Modi. He is also close to Congress leaders like P Chidambaram.” Meanwhile, fresh speculation has started as Rajinikanth begins shooting his new film Kaala this week. The talk is this could be the launch pad for his political entry.

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  1. V
    May 30, 2017 at 1:49 am
    when there are lot many old politician in congress party who are simply sitting on the Mr.Rajinikanth surely can make a difference like Modiji and can handle TN from the corrupt scenery.
    1. M
      May 29, 2017 at 8:00 pm
      Ever since INTERNATIONAL TERRORIST MODI came to power, the STATE TERRORIST RAJNATH SINGH has been virulent in implementing fascist R"SS" Aryan Agenda. Those scoundrels have been lavishly using the Bureau(IB), ED, Income Tax department to INTIMIDATE AND THREATEN influential people to join BJP.
      1. J
        May 31, 2017 at 8:39 pm
        U filthy rat. Get out of India
      2. B
        Brahmins.A.s.s.ociation.of Earth
        May 29, 2017 at 7:47 pm
        If any leader is fit to align with BJP, it can only be Shri Rajanikanth JI. Because of the only reason that he is a husband of 1 full brahmin, father of two 1/2 brahmins, father in law of 1 full brahmin, g r a n d father of a few 1/4 brahmins, and 1/8 brahmins. AND THAT MAKES HIM THE MOST ELIGIBLE TO JOIN Brahmin Jokers Party(BJP).
        1. R
          May 29, 2017 at 5:19 pm
          One more y vegetable in the biriyani
          1. R
            May 29, 2017 at 3:27 pm
            Rajini is not fit for Politics...he knows nothing....he neither has a good administrative charisma ...he can cheat the silver screen with the trick shots.. (doing rehearsal & shooting )...let him sit with what God has so far Blessed him with.Why he wants to swindle T.N.now. Old man, we will not vote for you. Your ideologies will work only on silver screen.You have never come forward to help T.N.people in their bad moments...despite amazing wealth from here. I support Modi, but not you You want to swindle money & save for your daughters.
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