No plans to join BJP: Rajinikanth

Tamil superstar Rajinikanth. PTI Photo(PTI12_26_2017_000073B)

Tamil superstar Rajinikanth on Friday gave ample hints that he was not inclined towards joining the BJP, while complaining that there have been attempts to “smear him with BJP colour” like “saffronising” saint-poet Thiruvalluvar.

At the same breath, Rajinikanth also said the BJP never extended an invitation to him to join the party, while asserting that the decision to accept or reject any such invitation if extended from any party rested with him.

Though the BJP responded to Rajinikanth’s comments by saying that it never invited him, it has been an open secret that the saffron party has been keeping its doors wide open for the superstar to join the outfit or clinch an electoral understanding with his yet-to-be-launched political party for the 2021 assembly polls.

“They (BJP) did not ask me (join the party). There are attempts to paint me with BJP colour like there was an attempt to saffronise Thiruvalluvar. Neither of the attempts will succeed. Neither Rajinikanth nor Thiruvalluvar will get caught (in the controversies),” Rajinikanth told reporters on Friday morning.

At the same time, the actor spoke the BJP language by calling Thiruvalluvar as a believer, not an atheist as is being claimed by DMK and other Dravidian outfits. He cited the late poet’s couplets that talks about existence of God.

Rajinikanth’s comment virtually closing the doors on the BJP, at least for now, is set to dominate the political discourse in Tamil Nadu for some time since this is the first time that the actor has distanced himself clearly from the saffron party ever since he announced his political plunge in 2017.

The significant comments also came a week after the Centre announced that it would confer Icon of Golden Jubilee of International Film Festival of India (IFFI) award on the actor, which was seen as yet another attempt to woo Rajinikanth.

During the course of his interaction with the media, Rajinikanth reiterated that he would contest the 2021 elections as he still believed that there was “vacuum for stable and strong leadership” in Tamil Nadu.

As his comments raised a storm, the media shy Rajinikanth held another impromptu press briefing at his upscale Poes Garden residence to reiterate that there was no plan for him to either join the BJP or align with the ruling party at the Centre.

“They are trying to colour me as BJP man and like that… (it is) definitely not true,” the actor said, when asked whether they can interpret his earlier comments as a reaffirmation that he will not join the BJP. However, he refused to explain whom the “they” were – media or other parties.

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