Rajinikanth celebrates birthdays, leaders and celebrities extend their wishes
Actor Rajinikanth turned 70 on Saturday and welcomed the wishes of leaders who cross political lines, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Opposition leader Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) MK Stalin and a host of celebrities from the film fraternity, industrialists and cricketers shared their photos with the star, who will launch her political party in January ahead of the assembly elections in Tamil Nadu in early 2021.
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Party Coordinator and Deputy Prime Minister O Panneerselvam of Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, wished Rajinikanth a day earlier on Friday night. Following Rajinikanth’s announcement of a political foray, Panneerselvam had said that there are possibilities for an alliance, but AIADMK leaders quickly distanced themselves from his comment, saying it was his personal opinion.
Several fans gathered in front of the actor’s home in Chennai dressing up like Rajinikanth and wearing T-shirts with his image. A political extension of his fan club, Rajini Makkal Mandram, who is dedicated to party work, will participate in charity work on his birthday as they do annually.
Rajinikanth’s political debut is destined to bring a new dimension to the politics of Tamil Nadu, which has been dominated by the DMK and AIADMK. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is playing all its cards to make its presence felt in the state where it is an ally of AIADMK and has favored Rajinikanth. Also in the fray is Rajinikanth’s contemporary, Kamal Haasan, whose Makkal Needhi Maiam comes with the experience of running in the 2019 parliamentary elections.
In the past three days, Rajinikanth consulted with Tamilaruvi Manian, the supervisor of the yet-to-pitch match, and R Arjunamurthy, who was appointed as the match coordinator after he recently resigned from the BJP.
“We discussed how to strengthen the party at ground level,” Manian said. Rajinikanth will depart for Hyderabad, where filming will resume on December 15 on his upcoming film “Annatthe,” produced by Karunanidhi’s great-nephew, Kalanidhi Maran. “I have committed and have 40% filming left to complete,” Rajinikanth had previously said. He will return to town to announce the launch date for his match on December 31.
The cult of the Tamil actor transcends borders with a fan base around the world who have waited for him to make the political leap for decades. The actor has now confirmed that his party will contest 234 seats in the Tamil Nadu assembly.