Veteran actor Rajinikanth on Monday met the leaders of Tamil Nadu’s Hindu Makkal Katchi party at his residence in Chennai. After the meeting, HMK founder and its state president Arjun Sampath, who along with General Secretary Ravikumar was in attendance at the meeting, claimed Rajinikanth will enter politics and free Tamil Nadu from the clutches of Dravidian rule, reported The Times of India.

“For sure Rajinikanth is coming into politics and he will be launching his own political party,” Hindustan Times quoted Sampath as saying. “Tamil Nadu has been suffering under the Dravidian rule for the last 50 years,” Sampath said, according to The Times of India report. “I told Rajinikanth that his service was required for the people of Tamil Nadu, given the prevailing political situation in the state,” he added.

Sampath further said that the actor expressed his desire to work for Tamil Nadu and the country. “His response was good,” Sampath said. “Rajinikanth said the system is corrupt. When we asked Rajinikanth to enter politics, he said he is in preparation for the same. He said that he would feel guilty if he ends up not doing anything.”

The actor, however, played down the visit from HMK leaders. “It was just a courtesy visit by leaders of Hindu Makkal Katchi,” Rajinikanth was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.

Rajini in politics?

On May 15, Rajinikanth had hinted at joining politics and said that if he ever did so, he would take on those who make money out of it. In his first direct address to fans in eight years, he said, “Some of my fans urged me to join politics...If god is willing, I will enter politics and keep away those who are money-minded and power-hungry.”

Rajinikanth had also said he had made a mistake by supporting a political alliance 21 years ago. The iconic actor called his support for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Tamil Manila Congress tie-up in 1996 a “political accident”. He added that his name was now being used for “political gains”.

On May 19, he had praised veteran state politicians. “MK Stalin is a great administrator. Anbumani is a very intelligent person,” he had said. “Thirumavalavan works tirelessly for Dalits. Seeman is a warrior. But the system is corrupt. People are fed up. We need to change the system together.”

In response, Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah had said “all good people” were welcome to join politics and added it was up to Rajinikanth to decide.

On Sunday, Rajinikanth had met a group of farmers in Chennai, who are demanding the interlinking of rivers in the area. Rajinikanth told the visiting farmers that their plea to link the rivers will be represented to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and also promised Rs 1 crore towards this. Interestingly, in 2002, Rajinikanth had famously offered 1 crore towards interlinking the Himalayan and peninsular rivers, after undertaking a fast on the Cauvery conflict.