BJP, AIADMK welcome Rajinikanth’s announcement; DMK says none can take their vote bank

AIADMK Joint Coordinator and Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said he would comment about Rajinikanth’s announcement only after fully knowing what he had said. 

Chennai: Actor Rajinikanth’s announcement to float his political outfit in January and contest and the upcoming Assembly election was met with an enthusiastic welcome from BJP and AIADMK, but opposition party DMK said that Rajini’s foray into the state politics would not dent its vote bank. The DMK further said that there was no proof of an established vote bank or vote percentage for the actor.

AIADMK Coordinator and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said that if there is an opportunity then there will be an alliance with the actor’s party. Rajinikanth’s party would not impact the ruling AIADMK, he added. 

Earlier in the day, AIADMK Joint Coordinator and Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said he would comment about Rajinikanth’s announcement only after fully knowing what he had said. Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said Rajinikanth’s party will not impact AIADMK.

BJP Spokesperson Narayanan Thirupathy told Zee Media that his party was happy to know of Rajini’s foray into politics, adding they were open to alliance with like-minded parties. “Our former party President Amit Shah had also spoken about cleaning up the system and this is a view that has also been echoed by Rajinikanth,” he added.

Speaking to the media, DMK MP A Raja said that it was a person’s democratic right to start a party and that they would see with time. “None can claim the DMK vote bank or change the impression that people hold against this EPS Govt,” he said, adding that Rajini did not have an established vote bank or vote percentage. 

Saying that spirituality was linked with religion and that secularism was against spirituality, Raja pointed out that Rajini’s talk of spiritual politics and secular governance were contradictory, adding “Spirituality and religion can’t be separated and that’s the precipitation in the people mind.” 

One the possibility of an alliance with Rajini, the former Union Minister said that anyone without corruption, who worked for Tamils and had ideological similarities with DMK, could be their allies. 

Senior journalist and political analyst Dr Sumanth C Raman observed that Rajini was perhaps the first celebrity to announce a political party barely 3-4 months ahead of the polls, given that NT Rama Rao had done something similar 8 months prior to the polls in Andhra Pradesh, several decades ago. 

“He had announced that his party is being launched and they will win. But it appears that they will not be contesting alone. There is a possibility of an alliance with the AIADMK-BJP combine and I don’t see Rajini’s party contesting 234 seats on their own” he said.

Certainly, Rajini’s entry has an impact on the political landscape of the state, Dr Sumanth C Raman added. 

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