Superstar Rajnikanth kicked off 2017 in style announcing his decision to plunge into politics. But his biggest problem would be finding honest and skilled manpower.
Ending months of speculation, Tamil superstar Rajinikanth has finally decided to enter politics. But like his Tollywood colleague Kamal Hassan, he has not announced his party name or plans in full. That, in one way, is typical Rajnikanth who has a penchant to push everything into realms of doubt and suspense. It shows his lack of confidence. The first lesson that Rajnikant has to learn is that politics is not for the weak-hearted.
But the biggest problem he would have to face is to find the right skilled and honest manpower. Politics in Tamil Nadu, like elsewhere, is dominated by rogues and the dishonest people loaded with cash.
Announcing his entry into politics, 67-year-old Rajnikanth said “I will do my duty… it is time. We will change the system.” To change the system, if he takes the help of shady characters, Rajnikanth would be just part of a rotten system. To make the change, he needs people who are in tune with his ideology of ‘do good, be good.’ This will be his biggest challenge and the best way out is to be selective in choosing his men.
He has an example in Kejriwal who was honest, but got sucked in as he admitted a few rogues and conmen into his party. Where will Rajnikanth find honest men and women in Tamil Nadu. Probably he will have to test fresh young hands who are his die-hard fans.
He admitted that the events in Tamil Nadu over the last year have made the state a laughingstock. “If I don’t make this decision now… the guilt will haunt me”. Actually, he should have taken the plunge soon after the death of AIADMK’s iconic leader J Jayalalithaa last December which left a vacuum in the state’s politics.
Rajinikanth said his party will contest all 234 seats of the state in the next assembly elections in 2021. And if he wins, he has promised to fulfil all promises in the first three years or resign. The decision to contest the 2019 parliamentary elections will be taken at an appropriate time.
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The actor said he was not entering politics to seek power. “The Chief Minister’s post came to me long time ago, I kept away. I did not have the intention of getting the post of CM when I was in my 40s,” Rajinikanth said. Over the last few days, posters came up in Chennai that say if Rajinikanth takes the political plunge, he would be the next chief minister.
And raising the pitch to frenzied supporters, the actor said he does not want cadres for his new party, but “watchdogs”. “I will be the head of these watchdogs… We should rope in all people in every village. This is my first task for you. At an appropriate time before assembly polls, we shall explain our policies and promises,” he said.
The BJP, which had tried its best to rope in Rajinikanth, today congratulated him. State party leader T Soundararajan tweeted: “Welcome actor Rajinikanth’s political entry with motto of corruption free good governance which is the sole aim of BJP”.
But BJP’s Subramanian Swamy was highly critical of Rajnikanth’s moves. Reacting to the developments, he said: “He only announced he is entering politics, had no details or documents, he is illiterate. Its only media hype, people of Tamil Nadu are intelligent. Let him announce political party name and candidates and then I will expose him.”
But Rajnikanth may be BJP’s plant. The BJP knows that it cannot come on its own. So, the best way out will be to align with the actor’s new party and give all support that he needs in building up a political base.
Though he is a popular actor, a few see him as an outsider. He belongs to Maharashtra and worked in Karnataka as a bus conductor before driving into films in Tamil.
Kamal Haasan, another new entrant into Tamil Nadu politics, tweeted: “I greet Rajini’s social concern and political debut. Welcome welcome,” his tweet read.
The superstar enjoys a lot of respect and love in Tamil Nadu. In 1996, Rajinikanth had asked the people to support the DMK government and not its charismatic opponent Jayalalithaa, famously declaring, “Even God can’t save Tamil Nadu”. He did not mention Jayalalithaa by name, but the message was obvious. The DMK swept the state polls in 1996 but later the superstar described his statement as “a mistake and an accident”.
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