The members of actor Rajinikanth’s Makkal Mandram, the launchpad to his proposed political outfit, held an advisory meeting Saturday ahead of the 2021 assembly elections in Madurai. The meeting comes weeks after the actor said the efforts to label him as a BJP sympathiser and attempts to smear him with saffron will not succeed.
In the meeting, the office bearers passed several resolutions, which include making their leader contest from Madurai constituency in the 2021 assembly election. Kumaravel, former DSP and a long-time associate of the actor, also attended the meeting alongside Madurai RMM office bearers. The meeting is seen as a precursor to the launch of Rajinikanth’s political party.
Recently, in an event organised to celebrate actor Kamal Haasan’s completion of 60 years in cinema, Rajinikanth took a dig at Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and said anything can happen in politics. “Two years ago Edappadi Palaniswami wouldn’t have thought that he would become the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, it happened. Ninety percent of people in Tamil Nadu said he would last in the CM position only for a couple of months, but it’s been more than two years and he is still in power. Miracles have happened in the past, they continue to happen today and it will happen tomorrow as well,” the actor said.
On Tuesday, actor and Makkal Needhi Maiam chief Kamal Haasan proposed a possible tie-up with Rajinikanth. Speaking to the reporters at the Chennai airport, Kamal Haasan said getting together with Rajinikanth would not be surprising as they have been together for the past 44 years. “If Rajinikanth and I have to come together for the betterment of Tamil Nadu then we will,” Haasan said.
Reiterating his celluloid contemporary’s comment, Rajinikanth said: “For the benefit of the people, if there is a situation to join hands with Kamal Haasan, we will definitely come together.”
On 30th December 2017, Rajinikanth announced that he will launch his political party and will contest in all the 234 constituencies. He termed his brand of politics ‘spiritual’ and told his fans to be ready during the war (election). “I am not coming to politics to earn name, fame or money; you (people of TN) have given me a lot of that. I don’t eye for any position, if I had thought of it, I would have acquired that in 1996. If I don’t have that desire at the age of 45, will I be having it now?” he asked.
His Rasigar Mandrams (fan forums) were soon converted to Rajini Makkal Mandram (people forum). A mega-scale membership drive took place, a mix of both experienced and youngsters were elected to key positions in the RMM and booth-level committees were set-up across constituencies in Tamil Nadu.
The Makkal Mandram members started working on strengthening the party at ground level and they got involved in welfare works to woo the public. During the Gaja cyclone, the office bearers provided relief materials for the victims. Apart from this, keeping his promise, Rajinikanth himself handed over the keys of some newly-built houses to those whose homes were damaged last year due to the cyclone.
Rajinikanth has been saying that there’s a political vacuum in the state. His recent remarks, however, drew a lot of flak from both the Dravidian parties. Reacting to his comment, CM Palaniswami said Rajinikanth is just an actor and not a leader of any political party to comment. Deputy Chief Minister O. Pannerselvam too condemned Rajinikanth’s remark.
DMK’s treasurer Durai Murugan said DMK leader MK Stalin has already filled the vacuum and the recent Lok Sabha and by-poll results are a testament to that. On the other hand, ousted DMK leader MK Alagiri and former BJP MP Pon Radhakrishnan have backed Rajinikanth’s comment and said there is a leadership vacuum in the state.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, the Republican Party of India leader C.K.Thamizharasan says Rajinikanth is capable of bringing a change in Tamil Nadu’s political arena.
“Rajinikanth can bring a change in Tamil Nadu’s political circle. He is a familiar figure so naturally, people are attracted to him. He will launch the party by next year and will provide a tough competition to the existing parties. It’s not necessary to launch a party way before elections, what you say and what you do during the time of elections matters. And, it’s not something new to Indian politics. NT Rama Rao (Former Andhra Pradesh CM) did that in 1983, Arvind Kejriwal proved it in Delhi recently, and similarly, Rajinikanth will do it in Tamil Nadu. He has the trust factor amongst all the sections of people, in villages, his fans are in huge numbers and in the city, youngsters demand a change and he will be the change,” he said.