Tamil Nadu

‘PV was keen on having Rajini in Congress’

Narasimha Rao and Rajinikanth  

Disputing popular accounts of many Congressmen from Tamil Nadu that P.V. Narasimha Rao’s indifference blocked the entry of superstar Rajinikanth into politics, his grandson N.V. Subash said the former Prime Minister was keen on the Congress contesting the 1996 Assembly polls with the actor as its face.

Mr. Subash, now with the BJP, said Mr. Rajinikanth met his grandfather twice in the run-up to the 1996 elections. The actor said he would campaign for the Congress if it went alone. “At the second meeting, he said he would campaign through television for the party. Even at this point, Mr. Rao was recepti-ve to the idea,” said Mr. Subash.

But Mr. Rajinikanth’s abrupt departure to the United States, when the talks on his support to the Congress were under way, forced Rao to doubt whether the actor’s seriousness, he recalled.

“I am pointing to this instance to show how my grandfather’s legacy has been systematically tarnished by some Congress leaders through false stories,” said Mr. Subash, the son of Rao’s eldest daughter.

In fact, in 1996, after the Congress decided to stick to the AIADMK, Rao’s posters were torn up in Tamil Nadu. The Congress then split, with the late G.K. Moopanar floating the Tamil Manila Congress and aligning with the DMK, helping it capture power.

Mr. Subash said that despite being the tallest leader of the Congress from Telangana, Rao was ignored by the party at the instance of the Gandhis. On the other hand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi acknowledged Rao’s contribution during his Lok Sabha election campaign.

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Printable version | Jul 19, 2021 11:15:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/former-prime-minister-narasimha-rao-was-keen-on-having-rajini-in-congress/article6546150.ece

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