Following Jayalalithaa’s death and the leadership vaccum left in the AIADMK party, all political speculations are turning more colourful and confusing to the public. The latest speculation is that Jayalalithaa had reportedly conveyed to her party members that she wanted Ajith Kumar to be her successor because she considered him to be like an adopted son. Ajit Kumar, in several interviews, had stated that he had been overwhelmed when she personally attended his marriage.
In an interview, Ajith had stated that Jayalalithaa had showered a lot of love on him whenever he visited Poes Garden and had always treated him like her own son.
So, who is Ajith Kumar and what is his political standing in Tamil Nadu? This is what you would ask yourself even as you are reading this.
Here are seven things to know about Ajith Kumar who was close to Jayalalithaa:
1. Born to a Tamil father and a Sindhi mother, Ajith Kumar grew up in Chennai and has close ties with Tamil Nadu. He began acting in films when he was 21 years old. The two Tamil movies that catapulted him into the top league are “Kadhal Mannan” and “Vaali” in which actress Simran was his heroine. He has several super hit movies to his credit thereafter.
2. In Tamil Nadu’s film industry, Ajith Kumar is in the league of superstars. He is called as “Thala” by his die-hard fans who almost worship the ground that he walks on. Following his success as a hero, there are reports that Ajith Kumar founded his own distribution company called AK International, which was at the time managed by SS Chakravarthi.
3. At the peak of his career in the Tamil Nadu film industry, Ajith Kumar took a break to pursue his key passion – car racing. This turned out to be a drastic move that had widespread implications for his career as an emerging super star and paved the way for the rise of other actors, particularly Suriya. His recent return to the world of Tamil cinema has been successful but the break that he took from cinema impacted his box office success thereafter.
4. When Ajith Kumar took a break from Tamil film industry, he devoted his entire attention to participate in races like Formula 2 Championship, the 2003 Formula Asia BMW championship and other races abroad.
5. While shooting for the Tamil movie ‘Amarkalam,’ Ajith Kumar began dating Shalini, known as ”Baby Shalini” in south India. His wife is one of the most popular child artists in south India, particularly having made a mark in Malayalam cinema.
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6. During the 80s, the buzz in Malayalam cinema used to be that, “If the movie has to be a superhit success with families, you have to rope in Baby Shalini!” As a child artist, Baby Shalini was one of the highest paid artists in the South Indian film industry and it was difficult to get her dates. Shalini also acted in Tamil, Telegu and Malayalam movies as a heroine. Her most successful film, “Alaipayuthey” directed by Mani Ratnam was made into several languages including Hindi. The Hindi version titled ”Saathiya” saw Rani Mukherjee in the role that Shalini had done.
7. In 2001, Ajith Kumar also acted in a Bollywood movie. The film “Ashoka” saw Ajith playing the role of Shahrukh Khan’s younger brother.
Speculations around Jayalalithaa’s successor continues and we will have watch what political moves are made in AIADMK party.