Actor-turned-politician Rajinikanth on Tuesday confirmed that he would attend Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony on May 30. Comparing Modi with Jawaharlal Nehru and Rajiv Gandhi, Rajinikanth said the prime minister was a “charismatic leader”.
“This victory is a victory for Modi,” Rajinikanth told reporters in Chennai. “He is a charismatic leader. In India, after Nehru and Rajiv Gandhi, Modi is now a charismatic leader.”
In the recently-concluded Lok Sabha elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party won 303 out of 542 seats to get a second consecutive term in power, while the Congress bagged only 52.
However, Rajinikanth suggested that Rahul Gandhi should not quit as the Congress president because of the party’s dismal performance. “He should prove he can do it,” said the actor. “In [a] democracy the Opposition should also be strong.”
Rajinikanth has been inconsistent with his opinions about Modi. Just before the elections, he said Modi was stronger than 10 people fighting against him. “When 10 persons go against one person, who is stronger? If 10 persons declare a war against one man, who is stronger?” he had said. He had supported demonetisation when the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government announced the decision in 2016, but then had a change of heart. “The implementation was flawed,” he said later.