RMM members feel let down by Rajini’s pick of Arjunamurthy, Manian

CHENNAI: Actor Rajinikanth fulfilled the dreams his fans nursed for nearly three decades on Thursday by announcing that his political party would be launched in January. But the superstar’s appointment of ex-BJP member Ra Arjunamurthy and close confidant Tamilaruvi Manian as the proposed party’s chief coordinator and supervisor respectively has disappointed supporters and members of his Rajini Makkal Mandram (RMM).

The RMM was formed from the actor’s fan clubs after he announced his interest in electoral politics in 2017. “At the meeting of RMM district secretaries last Monday, we urged our leader to start the political party immediately.

We promised to stand by him regardless of his decision, after he explained his limitations due to his health. So fans were jubilant when he announced the launch but none of us are happy about the appointment of senior leaders without consulting RMM functionaries,” said an RMM member.

Most functionaries have over three decades of experience with the fan clubs, he pointed out. “The physical and economic sacrifices we made to maintain the fan clubs can only be understood by those who have tracked our work closely.

Those who have been appointed are ‘elites’ who won’t understand our pain and service,” the member lamented, adding that after decades of work in fan clubs he would now have to introduce himself to Arjunamurthy. “Many of us find this painful and embarrassing,” he said.

Another district functionary pointed out that RMM had several wings and at least 1,000 district-level functionaries. “RMM is the base for the political party. We are going to execute the campaign and other election works.

But our leader thinks none of us has the capacity to be appointed even as a subordinate to Tamilaruvi Manian or Arjunamurthy. How can we order those below us to work for unknown persons?” the functionary asked.  Veteran journalist ‘Tharasu’ Shyam felt Rajini had erred in leaving out his fans and RMM functionaries.

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