Amid speculations that he would indicate a timeline to float his political party, actor Rajinikanth met the district secretaries of Rajini Makkal Mandram (Rajini People’s Form), the launchpad to his proposed outfit, at the Raghavendra Mandapam in Chennai on Thursday.
The meeting began around 10:30 am. Though only the district secretaries had been invited for the meeting, RMM functionaries and the superstar’s fans gathered in huge numbers outside the venue.
Afterwards, Rajinikanth addressed reporters at his residence in Poes Garden. The actor said while the meeting went smoothly, he was disappointed with one thing, which he would reveal later. “I met the district secretaries after a year. They had a lot of questions and I answered them all. We shared a lot of things, they are satisfied with the discussions. I, however, am not satisfied with one thing. I was disappointed, but I won’t be able to share what it is now. I will explain that later,” Rajinikanth said.
When asked about his meetings with leaders of various Muslim outfits, Rajinikanth said it was a pleasant experience, and he was ready to help them meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah over the new citizenship law.
“Brotherhood, peace, and love should prevail in this country and I am ready to do anything for that. I requested the religious leaders to discuss the changes they want in the CAA and NPR among themselves, and then seek an appointment with the Home Minister and the PM. I informed them I will try to help them in this as much as possible,” he added.
When asked if he would join hands with fellow actor Kamal Haasan ahead of the 2021 state elections, Rajinikanth also said “only time will tell”.
According to sources, Rajinikanth asked the secretaries’ opinions on the possibility of conducting a public rally in some districts he had in mind. He was also slightly disappointed about the performance of certain district secretaries, who were given the task of appointing more booth-level committees across the state.
The secretaries were asked not to talk on things discussed in the meeting with the media. They have also been warned that ‘all of their activities will be closely monitored by the high command and if anyone is found acting against the principles of the forum, they will be sacked’.
After the meeting, the district secretaries addressed the media jointly and said the actor will make the party announcement soon. “Thalaivar briefed us about various things we need to do before the party launch. He was keen on knowing the mood of the people, and we have explained to him about the situation in each district. Thalaivar is well aware that he has only 12 months (for the elections), so he will make the decisions accordingly. One thing is sure, he has come to politics to do good things for the people of Tamil Nadu. We cannot comment further on this meeting, Thalaivar will announce everything soon,” a forum member said.
Outside the venue was 62-year-old Anbazhagan, who sells items like key chains and photo frames and is an ardent Rajini fan. He said he is present wherever Rajinikanth makes public appearances in the city.
“Through newspapers and other sources, I know where Thalaivar will come, so I try to settle in that area a few hours before he arrives. I was a fan of MGR till his death and after that, I started to admire Rajinikanth. He is an honest man, his spiritual politics will also follow the path of honesty. If there is one thing I would like to say to him, it is ‘don’t join anyone, including friend Kamal Haasan’. Thalaivar vazhi epodhumey thani vazhi than (Thalaivar’s path is always a separate path),” Anbazhagan said.
The last time Rajinikanth met office bearers of RMM was in May 2018, a year after he announced he would enter active politics. Terming his brand of politics ‘spiritual’, Rajinikanth said his party would contest all the 234 constituencies in the 2021 assembly elections.
In October 2018, during his meeting with the RMM functionaries, Rajinikanth said 90 per cent of the work involved in launching the party was done, and he would announce the date soon.
In the past year, there has been plenty of action inside the mandram (forum), though Rajinikanth was not directly involved in it. Some of the functionaries were sacked from their primary membership and were reinstalled. The party members were restricted from using actor Rajinikanth’s name or RMM flag during the 2019 parliament elections.
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