Actor Rajinikanth, who finally entered politics last year, said on Sunday that neither he nor members of Rajini Makkal Mandram (RMM), the precursor of his political party, would contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. In a statement, the 68-year-old actor, who is perceived to be close to the BJP, mentioned that he won’t be supporting any party or alliance in the elections. READ IN TAMIL
In the statement, Rajinikanth also said that his photo and party symbol should not be used for any propaganda or campaigns. “I will not contest the Parliament election. I request all kindly not to use my pictures for campaign purposes,” Rajinikanth said.
The actor also requested RMM office bearers and fans to cast their votes to the person who would provide a permanent solution to the water issues plaguing Tamil Nadu. “Tamil Nadu’s main problem has been water scarcity. Think wisely and vote for the people who will provide a stable government in the Centre and provide a permanent solution to the state’s water crisis,” the statement said.
The water crisis that has gripped Tamil Nadu is turning out to be a major issue ahead of the general elections. Last week, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami allocated Rs 158 crore to ensure uninterrupted drinking water supply during the upcoming summer season.
The saffron party, whose vote share has never touched 5 per cent in the state and which last won here in 2001 (4 seats, in alliance with the DMK), has been seen as trying to ride piggyback on the actor.
Of late, Rajinikanth seems to have a change of heart as far as the saffron party is concerned. Following the saffron party’s drubbing in the three Hindi heartland states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, Rajinikanth had said the BJP has lost its influence in the country.
In December, the actor said, “If parties here believe BJP is dangerous, then it must be.” He also made a volte-face on demonetisation, saying the policy should have been implemented after carrying out ‘detailed research’.