Superstar Rajinikanth this morning launched a scathing attack on the AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu, a day after the state moved the Supreme Court seeking an urgent stay on Madras High Court's order to shut liquor stores amid coronavirus lockdown and concerns over social distancing, allowing only online sale.
"If the state reopens the liquor shops at this time, it must forget the dream of coming to power again," the 69-year-old actor tweeted this morning, joining many others like actor-politician Kamal Haasan and DMK chief MK Stalin who have voiced opposition against the government's decision to re-open the liquor stores.
"Please look for better ways to fill coffers," Rajinikanth said in a sharpy-worded attack.
Reactions poured on social media abut the megastar's comments. "No beating around the bush. Only straight talk Thalaivaa," said a user. Another follower tweeted: "Even if it's just one point, he makes the world turn. That's our leader."
Criticizing the remarks, N Prakash, an entrepreneur, wrote: "He (Rajini) is releasing trailer after everyone has watched the movie."
"There is never an immediate response from Rajinikanth. He will watch the mood of public and play his role accordingly," Arun, another user wrote.
In 2017, the megastar had announced that he would make a political plunge ahead of the assembly elections due in 2021. He is yet to launch his political party.
Earlier this year, he said that he doesn't not have the aspirations to become the chief minister, adding that he was contemplating "a model of handing over the government to a young and able CEO-like person to implement the party's promises, if the party captured power".
On Saturday, Tamil Nadu moved the Supreme Court, a day after it was directed by the Madras High Court to close all liquor stores because of massive crowds that make social distancing during the shutdown a challenge. The top court is likely to hear the case on Monday.
The High Court order on Friday allowed only online sale of alcohol in the state.
Kamal Haasan, whose Makkal Needhi Maiam or MNM was one of the petitioners, welcomed the Friday's ruling and tweeted: "This is not a victory for MNM alone. The whole of Tamil Nadu ought to celebrate, saying our thoughts have won. This is a victory of the voice of Tamil mothers".
On Saturday, he tweeted: "The government is knocking at the doors of the Supreme Court to gamble with the lives of people. We shall anywhere to stop you. Justice for people shall triumph."
Liquor shops, shut since March 25 due to the nationwide lockdown, re-opened in the southern state on Thursday after more than 40 days; alcohol worth Rs 170 crore was sold in a single day. Hundreds of people in serpentine queues, which extended over a kilometre, were seen in many areas.
Earlier this week, the Madras High Court had refused to stay the state's decision to resume the sale of alcohol and issued several guidelines for standalone shops, including a a six-feet gap between buyers. It also capped the amount of liquor a person can buy. Failure to comply with the guidelines would lead to closure of shops, the court had said on Wednesday.