Actor Rajinikanth’s decision opting out of political entry took his Rajini Makkal Mandram (RMM) members by surprise. Having worked to build a political platform for the last three years, they were eagerly waiting for him to announce on December 31 the date of the launch of the proposed political party.
A sense of dejection was prevalent amongst them. While a motley group of supporters staged a demonstration near his Poes Garden bungalow – the actor had left for his farm house on the city outskirts – but many made peace with his decision on account of his health.
Ra. Arjunamurthy, who quit the BJP and joined Mr. Rajinikanth on December 3, and was named as the chief coordinator of the proposed party, tweeted, “I am aware of the severe unhappiness Rajini sir’s heart will be in right now. My wholehearted support to sir on his decision.”
Following Mr. Rajinikanth’s announcement on December 3, the RMM had swung into full-fledged action with its booth committee activities across the State, a member said.
R. Rajini Ganesan, RMM district secretary, Thanjavur, however, was vocal with his dejection. “This is a very big disappointment. His health is very important. But people like us, at the grassroot level, are now pained at his decision, as we had put in so much of work and have brought in people from other parties as well to join us,” he said.
Mr. Ganesan said lots of people had come to work for the RMM, leaving aside their work and families and that the people of the State were willing to vote for the superstar.
South Chennai RMM district secretary, R. Ravichandran said only the actor’s health was important and they would accept whatever decision he took.
“Even during the district secretaries’ meeting, we told him that we will abide by any decision. Maybe the people are disappointed with his decision. After we formed our booth committees, everyone who we met were very positive about us. That might be a slight disappointment for them,” he said. “We have now become such a big organisation like the AIADMK and the DMK,” he claimed and said the actor could have used that to do something.
Sridhar, another member of RMM, said “all we can say is that ‘we are not lucky’. We cannot go against his decision”.
Karate Thiagarajan, former Congress functionary, who is considered an associate of Rajinikanth, said the general view was that the superstar could have made this announcement on December 3 itself.
“Everyone had come to that mindset by then that he will not take the plunge. After he made the announcement on December 3, people from the DMK started targeting him. It is my personal opinion that he will come out and give a voice against the DMK,” he said.