Tamil Nadu

Rajinikanth's political entry triggers talk of realignment of forces

The proposed launch of a political party by actor Rajinikanth has brought to the fore the possibility of a realignment of political forces, but leaders of various parties have been guarded in their responses.

Given the backdrop of Mr. Rajinikanth’s observations in favour of the position of the ruling BJP at the Centre on crucial issues such as the dilution of Article 370 and the Citizenship Amendment Act, or his remark of likening Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to Lord Krishna and Arjuna in the Mahabharata, there is a perception that his party will be an ally of BJP.

The talk in political circles is whether the BJP, in the event of the actor’s proposed party agreeing to be its partner, will retain its tie-up with the AIADMK or abandon the latter. Even though the actor is known to have friends in the Congress, the national party is apparently keen on continuing its relationship with the DMK for the 2021 Assembly poll.

K.S. Narendran, State vice-president of the national party, who said Mr. Rajinikanth’s and his party’s support base complement each other, termed any talk of alliance as “premature”.

But AIADMK’s coordinator and Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam went on record, hinting at a tie-up between his party and Mr. Rajinikanth’s party. A few weeks ago, the AIADMK announced that it would contest the Assembly election along with the BJP.

Notwithstanding perceptions about the actor, there have, however, been occasions when Mr. Rajinikanth sought to distance himself from the BJP. Two years ago, the actor, who initially welcomed demonetisation in 2016, said it was not implemented well. In November 2019, he stated that there were attempts to smear him with the BJP’s saffron colour but that he would not get trapped. In his tweet announcing the launch of the party in January, he mentioned “secularism”. Tamilaruvi Manian, overseer of the proposed party, said the governing principle of Mr. Rajinikanth’s politics would be the unification of people of all religions.

As for the impact of the actor’s entry into the vote base of the two principal parties, some office-bearers of the organisations said there would not be any adverse effect. Yet, there is a view among some others that the parties’ vote base may suffer a dent, as sections of youth might get drawn into Mr. Rajinikanth’s party.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 9:22:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/rajinikanth-entry-triggers-talk-of-realignment-of-forces/article33244593.ece

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