Year later, Rajini’s party yet to shape up

Year later, Rajini’s party yet to shape up

It has been a year since Tamil superstar announced his much-awaited political plunge and intention to contest the Assembly elections whenever it takes place.

One year down the line, there have been mixed signals from the film icon — the party has not taken shape yet, he is signing film after film and his infatuation for the BJP, which hardly has any base in Tamil Nadu.

Except for a series of meetings with his fans, who are now part of the Rajini Makkal Mandram which is a precursor to his political party, and appointment of office bearers — there is nothing that Rajinikanth can boast of about his political plunge.

And his interest in signing films even after announcing his intention to enter politics has led to questions on whether he was serious in his announcement — Rajinikanth’s two films Kaala and 2.0 were released in 2018 and the actor wrapped up shooting for his third movie Petta which will hit theatres on January 10, 2019.

The film icon is believed to be in talks with ace director A R Murugadoss for his next movie, shooting of which is likely to begin in February and continue for months — a move that many political analysts believe will be cited as a reason for Rajinikanth’s absence from the political scene during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Though Rajinikanth said his party would only contest Assembly polls, non-existence of a party structure even after a year has given rise to many questions than answers. Political analysts also contrast it with Kamal Haasan who has already launched his political party.

“Only Kamal Haasan and his associates would know the difficulty in building the party after the announcement. We are working silently because Rajinikanth wants to launch the party just before the elections. And when he launches the party, it would be ready for war,” Tamilaruvi Manian, who has been advising Rajinikanth on politics, told DH.

He said the party will be launched in the first half of 2019 if Assembly polls are held along with Lok Sabha elections. Rajinikanth has already announced that he would not contest general elections in 2019.

“Rajini Makkal Mandram is the only organisation to have constituted a committee for all 65,000 booths in Tamil Nadu. Each booth committee has 30 members and the work is happening silently on the ground. We will be war-ready and launch our party if Assembly elections are announced,” he said.

Manian also said since Rajinikanth has made it clear that his focus is only on Tamil Nadu, he would most likely be a silent spectator and will not take any side as far as the Lok Sabha polls are concerned.

Political commentator Bernard D’ Sami told DH that Rajinikanth has not demonstrated any seriousness in his announcement and has even betrayed national parties who were hoping to align with him.

“I think Rajinikanth’s time in politics was over long back. He will not be taken seriously as a politician by people. He can be a successful actor, but not a successful politician, given the time he took to actually enter politics,” he said.

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