Tamil Nadu politics is known for movie stars entering politics and making it a big success. Some of the most popular leaders in the state – CN Annadurai, MG Ramachandran, M Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa were all former big screen stars who later became politicians and held the post of chief ministers. Once again, Rajinikanth, the Tamil superstar known as ‘Thalaivaa’, has become the latest Tollywood stalwart to enter state politics. Rajnikanth has announced his political plans and said that yet-to-be-named party will contest all 234 seats in 2021 Assembly elections. The Tamil movie industry superstar made the announcement after addressing a six-day “meet and photo session” with his fans. Experts believe that Rajni’s entry to politics can be a big paradigm shift in Tamil Nadu’s politics. Well, as Thalaivaa has announced his big plans, here are 10 must know facts about what has happened so far.
– Rajinikanth has announced his entry into politics. The megastar said that that he will “definitely enter politics” and his party will contest in all the 234 constituencies in next assembly elections. The party may not contest the next local body elections, he said, adding that he will take a call about the (2019) Lok Sabha polls when the time comes.
– Rajinikanth made his announcements after a six day-long programme where he allowed his fans to meet him personally. In the event, named as “meet and photo session”, Rajni met his fans and allowed and posed for pictures with them.
– What Rajini said on state of politics: “Democracy is at high risk. Whatever happened in the last one year in Tamil Nadu has made everyone mute in shame. If I don’t take a decision at this moment, that will haunt me until death… It’s time for political change, time to change the system.”
– His appeal to the fans: “I want cadres who guard the people. I want a police who do not work as slaves for political bosses. I need such an army. And I will be the guard representing people to look after this state.”
– Rajini’s immediate plans: The superstar says that he would soon identify and grant recognition to thousands of his fan clubs scattered across the state.
– Timing of the political entry: Rajnikanth entry to politics has come at a time when Tamil Nadu politics is going through a state of turmoil. Following the death of Jayalalithaa on December 5, 2016, the state has seen rise and fall of new governments, political coups, change of chief ministers etc. The next assembly elections in Tamil Nadu are scheduled to be held only in 2021. However, political observers say that the polls may occur much earlier given the state of infighting in ruling AIADMK. Along with Rajni, his colleague in the Tamil movie industry, Kamal Haasan, will announce his political plans in coming weeks.
– Links with the BJP: The saffron party has openly welcomed Rajni’s entry to politics. A close aide to the actor has told The Indian Express that no alliance will be declared with the BJP at the moment. He added that BJP leadership has promised resources and moral support for the party.
– Rajinikanth on reason behind his political entry: Rajinikanth referred to the Bhagvad Gita and said, “Krishna told Arjuna to do his duty. He said he will take care of the rest. Go to war, if you win, you will rule. If you die, you will die as a hero.”
– The announcement finally ends years of intense speculation over the actor’s political ambitions, which was triggered by his critical remarks ahead of the 1996 assembly polls against the then chief minister Jayalalithaa. Again, in 2002, Rajni had asked his fans to oppose S Ramadoss’s PMK after the party’s members tried to stop the release of his movie ‘Baba’ in Tamil Nadu’s northern districts.
– Words from the BJP and DMK: BJP state unit president Tamilisai Soundararajan has already said that Rajinikanth’s political outfit will be part of NDA for 2019 polls. DMK working president M K Stalin did not agree that his party will be negatively impacted. Asked how Rajinikanth’s move will impact DMK, Stalin said it has nothing to do with DMK’s politics. “We will continue to do our work,” he added.