The will he, won’t he question on whether Kollywood superstar Rajinikanth will make his foray into politics was finally answered yesterday when he announced in a Tweet that he would launch his political party in January 2021, five months before the Tamil Nadu election. He said that he would announce the details of his party on December 31, 2020. The actor did not, however, clarify if he would contest the 2021 state elections. In his Tweet, he said, “In the forthcoming Assembly elections, with the support of the people, it is certain that honest, monetary, transparent, non-corrupt, secular and secular spiritual politics will emerge in Tamil Nadu.”
Rajinikanth took his tentative step towards the political arena after the death of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. With Jayalalithaa’s death and DMK chief Karunanidhi’s failing health, there was a glaring vacuum in Tamil Nadu politics.
The actor, who supported the DMK and Congress, announced his intention to publicly vote for BJP in 2004, although he did not campaign for it. During Modi’s Prime Ministerial candidature in 2014, Rajinikanth’s residence was Modi’s first pit stop in Tamil Nadu. He launched his own movement, Rajini Makkal Mandram (RMM), three years ago, which has since been putting in place the political launchpad for him.
And while he did not form a party or stand for the Lok Sabha polls in 2019, his contemporary Kamal Haasan launched a party - Makkal Nidhi Maiyyam. Kamal, who had started the party in 2018, declared to contest on 40 seats, including 39 of Tamil Nadu and 1 of Puducherry. The party won no seats, though. However, what was even more surprising was their abysmal performance, which fetched only a 0.26 percent vote share. Kamal, who had asked his longtime friend Rajinikanth to join forces with him, then has once again announced that he is willing to form a political alliance and contest elections together if it would benefit the people of Tamil Nadu and if the circumstances warranted it. Although Rajinikanth has not expressed reluctance to the idea, with BJP wooing the actor by citing shared ideologies, it remains to be seen if he will ally with Kamal.
Kamal has said often stated that Makkal Nidhi Maiyyam is neither politically aligned to the left nor right, accusing both the right and left parties of compromising on the interests of the people and committing grave mistakes in the party’s website.
Rajinikanth, on Friday, said that although the BJP had not invited him to join the party, efforts were being made to associate him with the ‘saffron’ party. Meanwhile, Kamal said today that although he and Rajinikanth may have differing political views, they will always respect each other.