Rajini to spell out political stand on Dec 31

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Rajini to spell out political stand on Dec 31

Chennai, Dec 26 : Keeping the guessing game on over his much awaited political plunge, superstar Rajinikanth today said he will announce his stand on entering politics on December 31.

This is for the first time that the charismatic 67-year- old actor, who enjoys cult status in the Tamil film industry, has fixed a date to spell out his plans on entering the political arena.

“I am not saying that I will come to politics…I will announce my stand on entering politics on December 31,” Rajinikanth said.

Addressing a meeting of his fans on the opening day of a six-day-long photo session with his followers here, the superstar said he was hesitant to enter politics since he knew its dynamics.

“Had I not known its dynamics, I would have said okay,” and joined politics, he said.

“I am not new to politics,” the Kabaali star said in the same breath and referred to his 1996 stand of voicing opposition to then Tamil Nadu Chief Minister late J Jayalalithaa amid applause.

Sporting a grey beard and a spectacle, the matinee idol of Tamil cine world for the last four decades spoke in his inimitable simple Tamil.

His address was punctuated with mild laughter, smiles and gesticulation to stress his views.

On criticism from certain quarters over dragging his feet on the issue of entering politics, the actor stressed that months ago he had clarified that he will make his decision known during “war.”

Amid thunderous applause, the actor, clad in a white kurta, asked “war means only election. Has it come now?”.

In May this year, during a similar photo-op, the actor had said, “Let us face the war when it comes” which was seen as an indication that he might enter politics.

“If we go to war, we should win, to succeed valour alone is not sufficient, strategy …(is important),” he said sporting a smile.

The actor’s remark is seen as a hint that he was strategising to enter politics.

Hence, he said, “I will make my stand on joining politics known on December 31.”

“Whether people are keen or not, the media is enthusiastic to know if I will join politics,” he said.

Giving a word of advice to his fans, he asked them to take care of their children and parents and make this their first priority.

Stressing on the importance of discipline and positive energy, he advocated meditation and asked his fans not to give room for negative thoughts as it would have an adverse impact on their well-being.

Ever since Rajinikanth took a one-time stand against Jayalalithaa in 1996, his entry into politics is being debated on and off.

Now, in view of the perceived political vacuum in Tamil Nadu after the demise of Jayalalithaa and DMK president M Karunanidhi being inactive due to ill health, the topic of Rajinikanth entering politics has cropped up again.

Also, the fluid political situation is seen as a springboard by others as well.

Against this background, versatile actor Kamal Haasan too has in recent months giving indications that he could enter politics.

Actor Vishal Krishna shouldering leadership responsibilities in actors’ and film producers forums too had evinced interest in politics.

However, his nomination to contest in the just concluded RK Nagar bypoll was rejected.

There has been opposition to actors coming to politics notably from pro-Tamil, ultra Dravidian outfits.

They target Rajinikanth and recently Vishal for their non-Tamil roots to be in Tamil politics.

In his counter, Rajinikanth had said in May that he was a “Pachhai Tamizhan (pure Tamilian),” as he was living and working in Tamil Nadu for more than four decades.

As regards Kamal Haasan, who has not missed an occasion to proclaim his “secular” credentials, the opposition to him subtly hinged at his Brahmin roots.

Beginning today, Rajinikanth is scheduled to meet fans covering as many as 18 districts at Raghavendra Kalyana Mandapam here.

Fans from districts including Chennai and Kancheepuram have come for a photo session.

Rajinikanth, who has a huge fan following with his unique “Rajini style,” beginning in late 1970s is likely to meet about 900-1000 fans during the six day programme ending December 31.

During summer, he had met fans from 16 districts for a similar event.

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