Rajinikanth's political plunge

Rajini meets R.M. Veerappan

Actor Rajinikanth with R.M. Veerappan in Chennai on Thursday.  

Following his meeting with DMK chief M. Karunanidhi on Wednesday, actor Rajinikanth met MGR Kazhagam party president and former Minister R.M. Veerappan, an influential member in the AIADMK during former Chief Minister M.G. Ramachandran’s tenure.

Sources close to Mr. Rajinikanth said that actor paid a courtesy visit to Mr. Veerappan, who has been his well-wisher for a long time and the producer of his smash-hit, Baasha. “He simply wanted to meet him after he announced his decision to get into politics,” said the source.

Incidentally, in 1995, when Mr. Veerappan was a Minister in Jayalalithaa’s cabinet, at a function organised to celebrate the massive success of the film Baasha, Mr. Rajinikanth, remarked that “bomb culture has grown” in Tamil Nadu. The actor’s remarks came days after a bomb attack at the house of director Mani Ratnam at Venus Colony in Alwarpet here.

Soon after this, Jayalalithaa dropped Mr. Veerappan from her cabinet as he did not counter the actor’s comments.

Meanwhile, Mr. Rajinikanth, who is reportedly overwhelmed with the response that he has so far received, is concentrating on putting the organisation structure in place before the announcement of his political party. Saidai G. Ravi, a long-time fan of the actor, said that registrations for those who are not so tech-savvy will be carried out offline.

“On Sunday, we will formally begin registering people who are unable to register online. We have asked members of the fan clubs to encourage people in the neighbourhood to register,” said Mr. Ravi.

While Sudhakar, who is reportedly overseeing these activities, said that “nobody has been put officially in charge of managing online activities”, sources said that Mr Rajinikanth’s fans abroad, especially in the U.S., have presented him detailed plans and policies, which they believe would be lapped up by the electorate of Tamil Nadu.

“Many of his fans have been offering logistical support for his political party. Some of them had presented this idea of setting up an online registration method, which he liked. So far, things have been falling in place,” said the source.

With a considerable section of the population still uncomfortable with online registrations, alternative offline arrangements will have to be made. “We will soon be releasing a template for registration forms, which will be used for offline registrations,” said the source.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2021 4:15:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/rajini-meets-rm-veerappan/article22370016.ece

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