Rajinikanth took to Twitter on Thursday, 3 December, to announce that he would be launching his political party in January 2021, ahead of the Tamil Nadu Assembly polls. He added that the announcement would be made on 31 December 2020.
“We will work hard and register a victory,” Rajinikanth said on Thursday, according to ANI.
“I never go back on the promises I make. Political change is necessary. It is the need of the hour. If it is not done now, it will be never done. For this, I urge people to stand by me. Together we will bring change,” he further said.
‘Ready to Give My Life to Tamil People’
Rajinikanth further said that a political change is imminent and urged the people to stand by him.
“I am ready to give my life to the Tamil people. I will never falter on this. A political change is imminent and extremely necessary now. If not now, never. We should change, change everything. After I enter politics, if I win or lose, all of it belongs to the people. With folded hands I request with folded hands, those who have made my livelihood here, to stand by me,” said Rajinikanth, as quoted by The News Minute.
He further announced that Gandhi Makkal Iyakkam leader Tamilaruvi Manian has been appointed as supervisor.
Manian said: “In Tamil Nadu where hatred politics is deep-rooted, he (Rajinikanth) will start spiritual politics which is all about love. If people of Tamil Nadu need a great administration, Rajini is there. Today is the real deepavali for those who have faith that he will bring massive change in the political scene.”
Rajinikanth further explained the delay in announcing the party saying that he wanted to tour the state before making any announcements, but his plans were delayed due to the pandemic.
“I had said that there needs to be an uprising among people and only after that there can be politics. I wanted to tour the whole of Tamil Nadu but corona (virus) put a stop to it. Due to my health situation doctors also advised me against touring Tamil Nadu and talking to people in person,” he said at the press conference, as quoted by TNM.
Closed Door Meeting
On New Year’s Eve in 2017, Rajinikanth had said, “My entry into politics is certain. This is the compulsion of the times. In the upcoming state Assembly polls, I will start my own political party, and contest in all the 234 constituencies in Tamil Nadu.”
However, there was no major announcement since.
On Monday, however, in a closed-door meeting, Rajinikanth had spoken with 32 leaders of the Rajini Makkal Mandram. Stalin, an office bearer from Thoothukudi, had then told the media that many of them expressed their concerns over his health, while a few maintained that Rajinikanth should announce his political party.
“In today’s meeting district secretaries and I exchanged our views. They assured they would support me in whatever decision I take. I will take a decision as soon as possible,” he had said after the meeting.
The decision to launch the party comes after this meeting.
The Rajini Factor
The upcoming 2021 Assembly elections are very crucial because this is the first time in decades that the two Dravidian parties will be fighting it off without veteran leaders Jayalalithaa and M Karunanidhi.
The BJP might have succeeded in consolidating the majority community in several other states, but when it comes to Tamil Nadu, they have not made even a dent.
This year, the party has decided to devise various ‘Hindu nationalist’ strategies to garner support. However, many say that the trump card could be: The Rajini factor.
Rajini has been dropping hints about his political aspirations since the 1990s, which were only made it official on 31 December 2017. He had said: “I will enter politics and launch a party to serve the people of Tamil Nadu as the (political) system in Tamil Nadu has been ruined.”
Sparking speculation of an alliance with the BJP, he had added, “My politics would be a spiritual politics, treating all as equals,” and as a precursor to the formation of a political party, the actor’s fan clubs had been converted into the Rajini Makkal Mandram (RMM).
In 1991, however, his punch line, “Even God cannot save Tamil Nadu” if the AIADMK comes back to power in 1991, resulted in the party’s humiliating defeat, with it winning just four Assembly seats out of 234, which further led to Jayalalithaa herself losing. In the aftermath, Karunanidhi expressed his gratitude to the icon saying that he had blessed the DMK-TMC alliance.
(With inputs from The News Minute and ANI)