Rajini not to contest LS polls, says Assembly is target

Rajini not to contest LS polls, says Assembly is target

Missed the bus?

Rajini misses the political bus

Tamil superstar Rajinikanth on Sunday announced that he will not contest the Lok Sabha polls due in May since his yet-to-be launched party’s “target” is Tamil Nadu Assembly polls. The actor also refused to support any political party for the elections and issued a diktat to his fans not to use Rajini Makkal Mandram’s name and flag during the campaign trail.

Though the actor’s announcement was on expected lines, there was a surprise element — an appeal to his fans and supporters to vote for a party who they believed would be able to bring a permanent solution to the water crisis in Tamil Nadu by forming a “stable and strong” government at the Centre.

Rajinikanth released the statement after he held a meeting with the office-bearers of Rajini Makkal Mandram at his residence in the upscale Poes Garden on Sunday morning. The actor is expected to begin shooting for his next movie to be directed by A R Murugadoss in March, which will go on for a couple of months.

“I am not going to contest the Lok Sabha elections. Tamil Nadu Assembly elections is our target,” the 68-year-old said, asking his fans to ensure that the flag and name of his organisation is not used in the election campaign of any political party.

READ: Rajini no political superstar, may have missed his day


Contending that water was the main issue that is facing Tamil Nadu, the actor asked his supporters to think wisely and vote for a party that would solve the state’s water issues. “Please vote for the party who you think will form a stable and strong government at the Centre and formulate good policies that will solve Tamil Nadu’s water woes,” he said in his statement.

The actor, though while announcing his political party on the last day of 2017 had said that Assembly elections was his target, political parties, especially the BJP, expected him to put his weight behind it. However, Rajinikanth has been distancing himself from the BJP in the past few months after his infatuation towards the saffron party cost him heavily — Rajinikanth’s statement supporting the police firing in Thoothukudi and ridiculing the Opposition’s efforts to cobble up a coalition did not cut ice with the people.

But on Sunday, the BJP quickly interpreted the appeal as one that was not against the party. “Rajinikanth had made it clear much earlier that he would only contest Assembly elections and I don’t see the latest statement as the one against BJP. In fact, BJP is providing strong and stable government and is taking efforts to solve water problems,” Tamil Nadu BJP chief Tamilisai Soundararajan said.