Rajinikanth taking the political plunge

Chennai: Ending years of suspense, Tamil film superstar Rajinikanth on Thursday finally announced that he would launch his political party in January 2021 and contest in the next Assembly elections.

“Party launch in January. Announcement on December 31,” the actor tweeted in the afternoon much to the delight of his fans. He also gave two hashtags in Tamil: “We will change, we will change everything” and “If not now, never.”

A note attached to the tweet read: “It is certain that in the coming Assembly elections with the massive support of the people, we will win and provide an honest, transparent, corruption free, spiritual politics sans caste and religion. Miracles and marvels will happen.”

Until recently, the actor, who three years ago announced that he would launch a political party and field candidates in all 234 Assembly constituencies, had given wavering signals on his decision. In March, he had announced that he will not be the Chief Ministerial candidate and wanted to see “resurgence” among the people as a condition to take the political plunge. In October, he had revealed that his health condition was not good and indicated that he may back out.

However, on Thursday he surprised everyone with his latest announcement.

AIADMK leader and Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said, anyone was free to launch a political party but in Tamil Nadu already the two Dravidian parties -- AIADMK and DMK -- were well established.

A DMK leader, when contacted, said, “His entry will not stop the DMK’s march to victory.”

Political analysts felt that the actor’s announcement could trigger a political realignment in Tamil Nadu. The AIADMK has already declared that its alliance with the PMK would continue for the Assembly elections; and in the DMK camp, which also has the Left, MDMK and VCK among other parties, the Congress has begun discussions on seat sharing.

“The possibility of a realignment cannot be ruled out. It remains to be seen if Rajinikanth would contest alone or be open to an alliance. If the latter happens, then some of the existing allies of the DMK and AIADMK could gravitate towards Rajinikanth if they are not happy with the seat-sharing exercise,” said Mani, a political analyst.

With actor Kamal Haasan, a long-time film world associate of Rajinikanth, who heads the Makkal Needhi Maiam also taking the plunge, whether the two would come together in politics too would be keenly watched.

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Free Press Journal