There was instant debate on whether Rajini, who too has announced his political debut, was taking a dig at Kamal Haasan who on launched his new party Makkal Needhi Maiam at a massive function in Madurai that drew thousands of cheering fans. Kamal Haasan, 63, told them, "I am just a worker, not your Thalaivar (leader or boss)," stating that he hoped to find many future Thalaivars from among them.
Thalaivar or "Utimate Boss" is what Rajinikant's adoring fans call him and Kamal Haasan's speech was analysed for any hint of a jibe. In a magazine column the very next day, Kamal Haasan said he had "secretly" met Rajinikanth ahead of launching his party and that they had agreed that even if they find themselves in opposite camps politically, they will "maintain dignity" and not make digs at or attack each other publicly.
So in Rajinikanth's comments today, made while interacting with fans at his wedding hall at Chennai's Kodambakkam also saw a dismissal of mainstream political parties like the AIADMK and the DMK, which have sneered at the fanfare around the political debuts of the two popular actors.
Rajinikanth in fact praised Kamal Haasan, calling him "efficient" and saying he will earn the people's confidence. "Though, all (of us) tread different paths, what matters is public welfare," the superstar said, saying the launch of Kamal Haasan party was "very nice" and well organised.
The two superstars are seen to be trying to fill a leadership gap in Tamil Nadu politics after the death of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa of the AIADMK and DMK chief M Karunanidhi becoming politically inactive because of poor health.
They have been largely non-committal when asked whether they could join hands politically, but at an interaction at Harvard University earlier this month Mr Haasan had said that political compatibility was going to be the key to a possible tie-up in the future. "I hope Rajinikanth's colour is not saffron, because if it is, an alliance is unlikely," he said.
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