`My vote is for BJP front'

April 12, 2004 12:00 am | Updated 12:00 am IST

Filmstar Rajnikant addressing mediapersons at the Raghavendra Kalyana Mandapam in Chennai on Sunday. — Photo: R. Ragu

Filmstar Rajnikant addressing mediapersons at the Raghavendra Kalyana Mandapam in Chennai on Sunday. — Photo: R. Ragu

Filmstar Rajnikant addressing mediapersons at the Raghavendra Kalyana Mandapam in Chennai on Sunday. — Photo: R. Ragu

CHENNAI, APRIL 11. Actor Rajnikant today pledged his vote for the alliance led by the Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, in the State, but said he would not commit his fans' support to any particular front or formation.

Addressing a press conference here, he said his decision was based on an assurance given by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) that it would strive for ``linking all rivers in the country to solve the drinking water crisis, at a time when other parties did not take a firm stand on the issue.'' Stating that the Deputy Prime Minister, L.K.Advani, also gave an assurance, Mr. Rajnikant said he was confident that the scheme would be implemented.

``I will cast my vote for the Vajpayee-led BJP front in Tamil Nadu, but I will not force my fans or the public to vote for the same combine''.

As his fans belonged to many parties, he would not ``wrest their voting right.'' Reading out an eight-page statement in two parts, Mr. Rajnikant ruled out formal support to any camp ``for various reasons''.

Though he could not predict the outcome in the State, he came to know during his recent tour of many States that the NDA, under the leadership of Mr.Vajpayee, ``is certainly going to form the Government at the Centre.''

He appealed to the people to make up their mind before going to the booth as to what should be their prime concern— success of the candidates of their party or community or the need to end the water crisis. ``Take a decision on your own. As your fate is in your hands, think well before you act.''

The first part of his statement elaborately dealt with the stand-off between the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) and his fans associations right from the time the party protested against his movie, `Baba' .

Dubbing the PMK founder, S.Ramadoss, the `king of violence', Mr. Rajnikant said he hated two things in politics: corruption and violence. He opposed the PMK leader not on personal grounds but in the interests of the people of the State. Dr.Ramadoss could have conveyed his resentment to him or approached the censor board for corrective measures, instead of resorting to `brutal attacks', the actor said.

After he advised his fans to protest in a democratic manner in the six constituencies the PMK was contesting they were intimidated, Mr. Rajnikant said. To ensure their safety, he had urged them to openly support All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and BJP candidates. Condemning the attack launched against his fans in Madurai, he commended the State Government and the police for registering an `attempt to murder' case against the PMK leader. ``We will not let them off the case.'' Appealing to his fans to give up protests against Dr.Ramadoss, who sought asylum in the camp of ``my friends'', he asked them to register their opposition in a democratic manner by exercising their franchise.

``Their (PMK) success despite our protest will not mean our defeat or if they lose at the hustings, it will not mean our victory. Our intention is only to register our just protest against their unjust opposition to us,'' he said

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