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Opinion

Rajinikanth’s birthday cake explains his political intent to those who wait

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Actor Rajinikanth turned 70 on Saturday and his birthday cake carried a clear message: now or never, dropping a huge hint of his political movement. Last week, the Tamil superstar said on Twitter that he will launch his political party in January next year to participate in the upcoming Tamil Nadu Assembly elections and the date will be announced on December 31.

Birthday wishes for the megastar, including one from 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.

Rajnikanth’s fan club posted messages on social media that it was now or never for him to take a political step and said that everyone was ready to ensure his political success.

Rajinikanth’s political debut brings a new dimension to the politics of Tamil Nadu, which has been dominated by the DMK and AIADMK.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) strives to make its presence felt in the state and has favored Rajinikanth. Also in the fray is Rajinikanth’s contemporary, Kamal Haasan, whose Makkal Needhi Maiam comes with the experience of participating in the 2019 Lok Sabha 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 match coordinator after he left the BJP.

“We discussed how to strengthen the party at ground level,” Manian said. Rajinikanth will depart for Hyderabad, where shooting will resume on December 15 of his upcoming film ‘Annatthe’ produced by Karunanidhi’s great-nephew Kalanidhi Maran under the Sun Pictures banner.

“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.

Several fans gathered in front of the actor’s home in Chennai dressing up as 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.

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. Three years after Rajinikanth said he would enter politics, he has yet to launch his party. He underwent a kidney transplant in 2016.

The actor has now confirmed that his party will contest 234 seats in the Tamil Nadu assembly. But questions remain as to whether Rajinikanth will enter the fray as the top ministerial candidate. Until now, his position has been that while he governs the party, he would choose a young and educated candidate for the main position.

Hindustan Times

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