Tamil Nadu minister fires salvo at Rajini, says ‘spiritual politics’ came to state long ago

CHENNAI: At a time when the promise of actor Rajinikanth to provide ‘Aanmeega Arasiyal’ (spiritual politics) in Tamil Nadu has become a hot topic of discussion, the AIADMK on Thursday gave a twist to the debate. The party said it has been practising spiritual politics for a long time since ‘Aanmeega Arasiyal’ encompasses all faiths and emphasises working for the welfare of all.

This was stated by Minister for Dairy Development KT Rajenthra Bhalaji at a press conference at the secretariat on Thursday.

Asked about the ‘spiritual politics’ slogan of actor Rajinikanth, the minister said, “We have been practising ‘spiritual politics’. Spirituality does not relate to one particular religion. Religions may be called by different names but spirituality encompasses religions. For example, the Chief Minister during the past two days, visited Nagore Dargah, Velankanni Church and Dharmapuram Adheenam, establishing that all religions are equal to this government. So, the AIADMK government is a spiritual government.”

When a scribe pointed out that the AIADMK is functioning on the path shown by late leaders Periyar and Anna and to call it a ‘spiritual party’ would be tantamount to deviating from its basic ideals, the minister said, “Periyar took to atheist ideology to counter the social evils prevalent at that time. After Periyar, Anna changed it to ‘One God; One Community’. Later, MGR visited Sri Mookambika temple and, after him, Amma (J Jayalalithaa) performed Kumbhabhishekam for numerous temples.”

Bhalaji went on to say, “I came to politics not by following Periyar and Anna.  I came to politics by following MGR and Jayalalithaa. But we did not deviate from the path shown by the late leaders to serve the poor and downtrodden people. The recent example for that is the 7.5 percent reservation for government school students hailing from a poor economic background.”

When asked about another promise of Rajinikanth for a “change of guard and transformation in political scenario” in the state after the 2021 Assembly elections, the minister said, “When Rajinikanth launches his political party, another party would be decimated and DMK would be that party since AIADMK will withstand the entry of Rajinikanth.”

He added, “Had Rajinikanth launched his political party after the release of his film Basha, he would have climbed great heights.  Now, he is coming as a matured man. Only after he launches his party and declares his policies, everything would be clear. So, before that, the media need not ask whether Rajinikanth would go against the AIADMK etc. For us (the AIADMK), the only enemy is the DMK and our solemn duty is to decimate that party.”

Asked about the statement of Rajinikanth that he would provide a rule akin to that of late leader MG Ramachandran, the minister said, “Perhaps Rajinikanth likes some of the policies of our party and he may like our leaders MG Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa. After the demise of the leaders, they become common to all. So, we need not give much importance to that remark of Rajinikanth.”

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