Politics

Rajinikanth May Launch Political Party in April

The filmstar first announced his intention to debut in politics more than two years ago, but has not taken any concrete steps in that direction yet.

New Delhi: Tamil superstar Rajinikanth may finally be ready to launch his new political party in April, more than two years after he announced his intention to wade into politics, the Indian Express reported on Sunday.

Quoting a top office bearer of Rajini Makkal Mandram, a political outfit affiliated to Rajinikanth’s fan club, the newspaper wrote that the launch of the unnamed party could be “any time after April 14”.

Rajinikanth had first announced his intention to form a political party on December 31, 2017.

Tamilaruvi Manian, described as a political strategist and mentor to Rajinikanth on routine affairs, told Indian Express that the party will likely be launched in April, although he was “not sure of the exact date”.

“That day, Rajinikanth will announce the date of his first party conference, (expected to be) a mammoth event…. We plan to hold this (party conference) in August. By the first week of September, he will begin a state-wide tour to meet and explain to the people his political plan and ideals,” Manian said.

He revealed that talks were being held with several parties, but he did not take their parties. He only stated that PMK, an ally of NDA in Tamil Nadu, would go with Rajinikanth’s political party.

“There will be a rainbow alliance – like the one I had built for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls for NDA with the support of PMK, Vijayakanth’s DMDK and Vaiko’s MDMK, which bagged nearly 19% votes,” said Manian.

However, Manian did not state that Rajinikanth would ally with BJP. But an unnamed source told the Indian Express that the Centre’s ruling party will “definitely” help the superstar as their aim was to defeat the DMK in Tamil Nadu.

On funds for the political party, an unnamed source asserted that Rajinikanth was not paying money for trips or office expenses, while recurring expenditure was met by fan club leaders. “We are yet to figure out funds for elections,” the source said.

Manian, however, did make it clear that Rajinikanth had “strong reservations” against Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) leader, T.T.V. Dinakaran. “An alliance with BJP will be decided by Rajinikanth himself, but he fears there may be a negative impact if he strikes an alliance with Dhinakaran,” he told the paper.

While Rajinikanth’s political aspirations had been made clear since 1996, when he supported the DMK-Tamil Maanila Congress alliance, he didn’t give any concrete signals of going himself political until 2017. In March 2018, Rajinikanth promised in his first political speech to bring back “MGR rule”, referring to the filmstar M.G. Ramachandran, who later became the chief minister of Tamil Nadu.