Updated: April 9, 2019 6:28:10 pm
Actor Rajinikanth Tuesday said people will be happier if the BJP executes the river-interlinking project as promised in the party manifesto released on Monday ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. The actor-turned-politician said he had been advocating for the project to interlink all the rivers in the country since the time of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and had also met him on the issue. CLICK HERE FOR ELECTION NEWS
Speaking to reporters outside his home in Chennai, the actor-turned-politician was quoted by ANI as saying: “I have been advocating the project of interlinking of rivers since the time AB Vajpayee was the PM, he had accepted my idea. BJP in their 2019 manifesto has promised to undertake the project. People will be happier if this is done,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.
The superstar’s remarks come just nine days ahead of the polls in Tamil Nadu. The state will go for elections on April 18.
Rajinikanth, who joined politics last year, had in February said that neither he nor members of Rajini Makkal Mandram (RMM), the precursor of his political party, would contest the Lok Sabha elections. In a statement, the 68-year-old actor, who is perceived to be close to the BJP, mentioned he won’t be supporting any party or alliance in the elections.
On whether he would support Makkal Needhi Maiam chief and fellow actor Kamal Haasan’s campaign, he said they both are good friends. “Kindly don’t blow up this issue and spoil our friendship,” he said.
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 had 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’.