Rajini Keeps Modi Guessing

There is unending speculation in political and media circles on Tamil hero Rajinikanth joining politics. Will he, won’t he?
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Chennai: Tamil Super Star Rajinikanth has given enough hints to believe that he might respond to the BJP’s invitation favourably. But he is keeping Prime Minister Narendra Modi guessing.

Speaking to a TV reporter on Tuesday Rajini refused to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the BJP’s invite. It was twenty years ago that Rajini made a strong political statement when he said that if people vote for Jayalalithaa there would be no future for Tamil Nadu. Jayalalitha lost in 1996 miserably. Since then the Super Star had expressed regrets for attacking Jayalalithaa and he had never made a political statement again despite a number of provocations. After Rajini said at the meeting with his fans on Monday that he would enter politics if God orders to do so as his dialogue in a film ‘ Deemudu aadeesistee Arunachalam Aacharistaadu’

The speculation on Rajini joining BJP has been persisting this time because of the ground realities. One, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met Rajini at the latter’s residence and invited the film star to join the BJP. Two, there is a clear political vacuum in Tamil Nadu after Jayalalithaa’s demise on 5 December 2016. Three, The AIADMK has split and the DMK is headed by Stalin. There is no person of Rajinikanth’s stature in Tamil politics today. Four, The BJP has been focusing on South India after winning Uttar Pradesh in a big way. It is rearing to go in Karnataka. It is making a serious bid to develop the party from booth committee level in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The BJP has to wait for some more years to make a mark in Kerala. There is,however, a window of opportunity in TN.

The BJP might want Rajinikanth to join its fold straight away. But it will not help BJP greatly since Tamils may not accept a non-Dravidian party immediately although the intensity of Dravidian sentiment has considerably reduced in recent times. Nationalism is not being scoffed at by the people of TN. The best bet for the BJP under the present circumstances would be to encourage Rajinikanth to float a Dravidian party and have an electoral tie-up with it. That would slowly but steadily pave the way for saffron party in the land of Periyar Ramaswami Naicker.

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