- Rajinikanth puts out video asking for volunteers to register on website
- Had announced yesterday that he was going to launch a political party
- Superstar's entry in politics has been subject of speculation for years
"I have launched this website rajinimandram.org to coordinate fan club members and concerned citizens who want a good political transformation under one umbrella, Rajinikanth said in a 74-second video message put out on his Twitter handle.
Sitting against the backdrop of a poster of a yogic mudra that he had flashed yesterday - a raised forefinger and little finger, with the tips of the middle finger, ring finger touching the thumb - asked people come forward to "bring a good political change in Tamil Nadu.
Rajinikanth had yesterday counted the political turmoil in the state after J Jayalalithaa's death as one of the reasons why he had taken the political plunge. These events, he said in an oblique reference to the struggle for power within the ruling AIADMK, had put the state to shame. "If I don't make this decision now, then I would let the people down... the guilt will haunt me," he had said on Sunday.
His supporters believe Rajinikanth's plunge would change the dynamics of politics in the state that has, for decades, seen only two big players, the DMK and the AIADMK. The BJP, which has no more than a toehold in the state's politics, has been hoping to piggyback on to win over Tamil Nadu.
Within minutes of Rajinikanth finally declaring his plan on Sunday, the BJP spoke about the possibility of getting the superstar on its side.
"BJP has always welcomed persons with sincerity and commitment to join the politics so as to improve the governance and delivery to poor," senior BJP leader Murlidhar Rao tweeted. The Tamil Nadu BJP president Tamilisai Soundararajan also spoke about her party's hope that "Rajini will support NDA as his policy very similar to the BJP's".
Party chief Amit Shah has already said Rajinikanth was welcome to join the party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met him during a visit to Chennai.
Tamil Nadu has been a state where matinee idols have quit the silver screen to become colossal political leaders -- the biggest examples being AIADMK founder MG Ramachandran and his protege and former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. DMK chief M Karunanidhi had been a successful screenwriter. Recently Kamal Haasan too had announced his intention to join politics.