Rajini mandram members dismiss rumours about launch of party

Despite widespread speculation about actor Rajinikanth launching his much-awaited political party in November, at least 4 district secretaries of Rajini Makkal Mandram (RMM) have told The Hindu that these are unconfirmed reports and they have received ‘no official communication’ regarding the same.

Sources in RMM categorically said there was no point responding to such speculations and that Mr. Rajinikanth would be the first person to formally announce the date of the launch. V.M. Sudhakar, who is managing the affairs of Rajini Makkal Mandram as of now, denied the ‘November launch’ and said that these rumours began circulating after a Tamil newspaper carried an unverified article to this effect.

Mr. Rajinikanth had announced on the last day of 2017 that he would enter electoral politics and founded the mandram in 2018 as a precursor to the yet-to-be-launched political party.

Though he opted out of 2019 Lok Sabha elections and continued to act in movies such as Petta, Darbar and currently Annathe, it was widely expected that he would launch his party soon. However, the expectations began to dwindle as months turned into years.

Barring only a few political statements on Kanda Sashti Kavasam issue, reopening of Tasmac and Sattankulam police custodial deaths, Mr. Rajinikanth chose to lie low since March. The renewed speculations about launch of the party in November may have stemmed from Mr. Rajinikanth’s reaching out to wide-spectrum of people from all walks of life about the consequences of his decision to contest elections.

In March, the actor had met the RMM district secretaries to explain his political stance. A few days later, Mr. Rajinikanth said that he had no aspirations to be the Chief Minister and would rather appoint a young and capable person as the State’s Chief Minister.

A district secretary based in Chennai, who had attended the meeting, said the actor had admitted that he was thinking about launching the party around August. “At that meeting itself, he had hinted at August but then the lockdown happened. Thalaivar will make the announcement. These are all rumours,” he said.

He said that Mr. Rajinikanth sounded confident that 6 to 8 months before the elections were more than sufficient to start a political party and reach out to the people of Tamil Nadu.

Another district secretary hailing from a district in south Tamil Nadu recalled that Mr. Rajinikanth had said that the ‘lack of time’ would not be an issue and that his popularity with the people of Tamil Nadu would take care of it. “He said that he wouldn’t need too much time and even a month would be enough,” said the district secretary.

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