Will Indian superstar Rajinikanth go into politics?
Last week, India’s Tamil cinema superstar, Rajinikanth, again made noises about joining politics.
Speaking to his fans, the 66-year-old actor told them to be “ready for war” at the right time to take on the “corrupt” political system and a “rotten” democracy.
“If God wills, I will enter politics tomorrow. If I do, I will be truthful and will not entertain the corrupt people,” he said.
“I’d like to tell those who want me to enter politics for their personal benefit, don’t be disappointed if I don’t enter politics. At the same time, just in case if it happens, I will not even let such people near me.”
The political uncertainty in the southern state of Tamil Nadu has given new meaning to Rajinikanth’s remarks and has led to heated televised debates.
The state plunged into crisis after the death of chief minister J Jayalalitha in December. It eventually led to a split in her ruling AIADMK party. The opposition party DMK is now led by an ageing leader who is enfeebled.
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Political watchers say the Hindu nationalist BJP – which rules at the centre – is biding time to enter Tamil Nadu, a state that has so far resisted it. And many believe the party has been wooing the superstar to make political inroads into a state, which sends 39 MPs to the parliament.
“There is a political vacuum in Tamil Nadu that can be filled by the BJP. Rajinikanth is the right person for the right party,” Narayan Thirupathy, BJP spokesperson in the state, told reporters.
In the past, the star has dropped hints about joining politics, but eventually stayed away.