Hyderabad: Back from his two-week spiritual tour, actor-politician Rajinikanth has said the BJP was not behind him. "People keep saying BJP is behind me. That is not true. Only God and the people are behind me," the superstar told the media on his return to Chennai.
The 67-year-old actor's remarks are seen a possible counter to speculation about him being remote-controlled by the BJP or having any kind of a tie-up with the BJP ahead of 2019.
In December, Rajinikanth had announced he would launch a party and contest all 234 assembly constituencies in Tamil Nadu in the next assembly elections due in 2021, a decision that was welcomed by the BJP.
Rajinikanth also said speculation that he is going to launch his political party and unveil the party flag on Tamil new year -- April 14 -- is not true.
During his visit to Chennai in December, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called on the actor in what was described as a "courtesy" visit.
Last month, the other superstar in the south, Kamal Haasan, launched his political party called Makkal Needhi Maiam. Asked if there could be an alliance between the two stars, Rajinikanth had same "only time will tell".
In a recent speech at the Harvard University, Kamal Haasan had said, "an alliance is unlikely if saffron is Rajini's colour."
Joining the voices opposing the VHP-led Ram Rajya Rath Yatra, Rajinikanth said the police should protect communal harmony.
"Tamil Nadu is a secular place and we must spare no effort to ensure communal harmony," he said.
Opposing the yatra that entered Tamil Nadu today, Kamal Haasan tweeted, "Voices for social harmony being throttled with Section 144 and arrests. Procession with divisive political agenda allowed with protection. The TN government, dancing to someone else's tune, is neither reflecting people's opinion nor being empathetic to students writing their board exams".
The yatra that began from Ayodhya last month is scheduled to go to Rameswaram and then to Thiruvananthapuram.
Rajinikanth, who has earlier come under flak from various quarters for not actively taking part in protests organised by the film industry in the past over the Cauvery issue, said the state needs to put more pressure on the Centre for the formation of the Cauvery water management board.
The superstar had expressed disappointment over the Supreme Court verdict that reducing the quantum of water to Tamil Nadu from the Cauvery river.