Actor-turned-politician Rajinikanth announced a vague roadmap for his political plans on Thursday but stopped short of launching a new party a year before Assembly elections are due in Tamil Nadu. He said he was not interested in the post of chief minister, The New Indian Express reported.
Rajinikanth said most voters chose the two main parties in Tamil Nadu – the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam – because of their former leaders M Karunanidhi and J Jayalalitha. But now there was a leadership vacuum, he said. He said that in 2012, there would be a “repeat of the 1967 revolution” – a reference to the DMK’s toppling of the Congress government in the then Madras state in 1967.
The popular actor said his party would give 60% of election tickets to “good people” and those below 50, The New Indian Express reported. “Good people” whom voters want in politics would be invited to join him, Rajinikanth said.
He said that a ruling party’s leader and the state’s chief minister should be different – the party leader should guide the outfit on the ideology, while the chief minister should be like a chief executive officer. The party leader should be like an Opposition leader, even questioning the chief minister, Rajinikanth said.
Rajinikanth said he had been interested in politics since 1996, but declared his intention to enter politics only in December 2017 after the death of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, which led to months-long political instability in the state. The actor-turned-politician said the “system has gone bad” and one cannot “cook sweet pongal without washing the vessel in which fish curry was cooked”.
Rajinikanth made the announcement at a press conference, amid growing speculation about his political plans in recent months. He said he wanted to put a full stop to comments such as being called a mouthpiece of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. He refused to take questions from reporters at the end of the press conference.
In November, Rajinikanth had claimed that there would be a miracle in the next state elections. “People of Tamil Nadu will 100% ensure that a miracle and a wonder will happen in politics in the state in 2021,” he had said.
Rajinikanth had earlier expressed his willingness to join hands with actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan for the “prosperity and development” of Tamil Nadu. “If a situation arises that warrants us to work with each other for the benefit of people of Tamil Nadu, I will work with Kamal Haasan,” he had said. Haasan’s party, the Makkal Needhi Maiam, secured 5% of the vote in the Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu held six months ago, but did not win a single seat.
The ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam had earlier mocked the idea of an alliance between actors Rajinikanth and Haasan, saying it would be like “a cat and mouse living together”. In an article in its mouthpiece Namathu Amma, the party had said: “While Rajinikanth had announced he would take forward spiritual politics, Haasan is known for rationalism and communism.”