Actor-politician Kamal Haasan on Tuesday evening reiterated his willingness to work with fellow superstar Rajinikanth - who is widely expected to make his electoral debut in next year's Tamil Nadu Assembly election - providing their political ideologies are in sync.
The Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) chief said both Rajinikanth and he would "give up all ego and co-operate if it would benefit the people", but cautioned that a more detailed understanding of Rajinikanth's ideology was needed to make this decision.
"Let Rajini speak. We will help each other if required... give up all ego and co-operate if it will benefit the people. We have said this before... nothing new to be said now," Kamal Haasan said.
"(But) we can't take his single word (a reference to Rajinikanth's promise of "spiritual politics" as his party's cornerstone) as a full ideology. Let them explain in detail, then we will speak," he added.
Kamal Haasan said the two remained "easy as friends" and were only ever a phone call away.
"I have said why I came to politics. We need a change. Rajinikanth too says that," he said, offering hope to those batting for what will likely be a mega-alliance in the Tamil Nadu electoral landscape.
On Sunday Kamal Haasan appeared to hint at that possibility, saying: "Alliances will break up and alliances will come together." And in November last year he said, as he did today, that the two actors would work together "if there is a need for Tamil Nadu's development".
Rajinikanth's response to the November teaser was: "If there is a situation that requires for the development of the Tamil people, I would join hands with Kamal Haasan".
Tamil Nadu is scheduled to vote for a new Assembly in May next year.
This will be the first election since the deaths of former chief ministers J Jayalalitha and M Karunanidhi, and the absence of the hugely influential leaders leaves a power vacuum, and a tie-up between Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth could be more than enough to fill that gap.
Earlier today reports suggested Rajinikanth may contest the election with his newly-registered party - Makkal Sevai Katchi (People Service Party) - and with the autorickshaw (a reference to his character - an auto driver - in the super hit "Basha") as the symbol.
Kamal Haasan launched his party in 2018 and contested in last year's Lok Sabha election. However, he failed to win any seats. The party also failed to secure seats in two sets of Assembly bypolls - in May and October, with the AIADMK and DMK sharing all seats.
With input from PTI