Chennai: Around 10,000 fans of Tamil superstar Rajinikanth gathered in Trichy today at public meeting - complete with flags and banners -- that is being seen as a trial balloon for his political plunge. The meeting was meant to persuade the 67-year-old superstar to join politics soonest. Its organiser meant it as a platform to showcase what he calls Rajinikanth's plans - good governance, linking of peninsular rivers and eradicating corruption.
- Rajinikanth's fans may ask him to join politics in a meeting at Trichy
- BJP's Amit Shah has said Rajinikanth was welcome to join the party
- Rajinikanth has managed to keep his distance from politics over the years
"I will explain Rajini's brand of politics and his agenda and take back fans' expectations to Rajini," Tamilaruvimanian, a Gandhian, said ahead of the meeting which he had organised. Rajinikanth, he said, is clear about his focus. "He wants to bring about inter-linking of rivers in south India, transparent good governance and a corruption-free state" said Mr Manian.
Padmanabhan, a techie, who came to attend the meeting from Chennai, 350 km away, said, "Karunanidhi is not active... you see the state AIADMK is in. We need a good leader and it is the right time for Rajinikanth."
The buzz about Rajinikanth's foray into politics rose over the last two years as the BJP made overtures and the star met a few leaders including BJP's Poonam Mahajan. Party chief Amit Shah has said Rajinikanth was welcome to join the party. There were even expectations that he would launch his own party.
The 67-year-old, however, has given out mixed signals. In May, he had said, "If God wills it, I will enter politics tomorrow," triggering fan frenzy. As local BJP leaders immediately invited him to join the party, the actor gave a cryptic reply. "Whatever I had to say I said, now I have nothing more to say" he had said.
Recently, Rajinikanth had also attended a meeting organised by the state's main opposition party, the DMK.
In 1996, Rajinikant's famous slogan, "Even God can't save Tamil Nadu if Jayalalithaa returns to power' helped the DMK-TMC alliance sweep polls and defeated Jayalalithaa. Later, he called that decision "an accident and a mistake". But he has also told his fans that he would call them "when there's a war".
Rajinikanth, who had been the neighbor of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa at Chennai's posh Poes Garden, managed to keep his distance from politics over the years. Even when Narendra Modi had met him during the Lok Sabha election campaign in 2014, the superstar had stayed away from getting involved in politics.