Will the autorickshaw be Rajinikanth’s smooth ride to success?
In the 1995 film Baasha, Rajinikanth’s introductory song goes ‘Autokkaran, Autokkaran, Naalum Therinja Rootukkaran’. The film featured the actor in the role of an autorickshaw driver who tries to live down his earlier avatar of a formidable gangster, only to be dragged back into the underworld. The iconic movie not only reached massive commercial success but also earned the actor a ‘god-like’ status in Tamil Nadu.
Rajinikanth has been fiddling with the idea of stepping into the political arena and he has been keeping his fans and followers on tenterhooks on what his decision will be. He had finally announced that he would contest in the Tamil Nadu state elections in 2021.
https://www.thenationwide.in/news/national/rajinikanth-and-kamal-haasan-will-they-wont-theyAlthough it is not official yet, the ‘auto-rickshaw’ is likely to be the superstar’s party’s symbol. The Election Commission of India (ECI) has allotted the ‘auto-rickshaw’ symbol to a newly registered party called Makkal Sevai Katchi (MSK) that is believed to be the party floated by the Kollywood superstar.
The applicant, whose name was not disclosed, also sought the ‘hasta mudra’ symbol, which Rajinikanth had made famous in the 2002 film Baba, as first preference. The ECI is said to have however denied the ‘hasta mudra’ symbol as it resembles the Indian National Congress’ hand symbol. Rajinikanth, who turned 70 on December 12, had earlier said that he would announce the details of his party on December 31, 2020.
Meanwhile, Rajinikanth’s contemporary Kamal Haasan and the latter’s followers are fuming as the ECI allotted their Battery Torch symbol to a little known party MGR Makkal Katchi. Kamal’s party Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) had been allotted the symbol during the 2019 Lok Sabha election. The commission has allocated the symbol to MNM only in Puducherry for the 2021 assembly election. “We have been popularising the Torch symbol in the hope it would be allotted once more to us for the election symbol,” party spokesperson Kumaravel said.
Reacting to the development, Kamal Haasan, who was addressing a meeting at Dindigul, said, “It would not be an exaggeration to say that democracy is in sickbed now. If the battery torch is denied, we will become ‘Kalangarai Vilakkam’ (lighthouse).” Meanwhile, the actor who had stayed away from contesting in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls has announced that he would contest in the Tamil Nadu Assembly polls next year. The actor added that the name of the constituency would be announced later. Addressing the media, Kamal said, “I will definitely contest in the polls. The announcement regarding where I will be contesting from will come later.”
The actor who launched his party’s campaign in Madurai for the scheduled 2021 Assembly election, he did not rule out a possible tie-up with actor Rajinikanth.
Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam had contested in 38 parliamentary constituencies and 19 bye-poll seats in 2019 but failed to make an impact then. Kamal is likely to choose to contest from Chennai, a city where he has been living for decades. However, at a public appearance at Madurai, he assured the gathering of designating Madurai as the second capital of Tamil Nadu if MNM was voted to power. This has left political experts to believe that he might also contest from Madurai.