Politics
Rajinikanth’s statement comes after speculation that he would join the BJP following his meeting with former Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan.
File Image/PTI

With speculation mounting over whether Superstar Rajinikanth would join the BJP ahead of the 2021 Assembly Elections in Tamil Nadu, the actor on Friday said that he will not fall for the attempts to ‘saffronise’ him, just like Thiruvalluvar. 

When asked by reporters in Chennai whether Rajinikanth had plans to join the BJP following his meeting with former Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan recently, he said, “He didn’t offer (a place in BJP). If there is a political party, people will say we can join. But there are definitely no plans,” he said. Reiterating his thoughts on his speculated entry into the BJP, Rajinikanth said, “Attempts are being continuously to adorn me with saffron just like Thiruvalluvar. Thiruvalluvar won’t be trapped and I also will not be trapped.” 

His comments come in the wake of the controversy over BJP’s alleged attempts to saffronise Thiruvalluvar. On November 2, BJP Tamil Nadu had tweeted a picture of Thiruvalluvar wearing saffron robes, sparking protests from Dravidian groups.

When asked about his thoughts on the controversy, Rajinikanth said that Thiruvalluvar was somebody who was very knowledgeable and an intellectual sage, and he added that such personalities cannot be restricted to religion. “Thiruvalluvar was not an atheist. He was a believer. It is evident from his Thirukkurals. Nobody can deny or forget that,” he said.

Commenting on BJP Tamil Nadu’s alleged attempts to appropriate Thiruvalluvar, Rajinikanth said that it is silly that this issue has been taken out of proportion. “BJP adorned him with saffron cloth and (holy ash) marks by themselves. They did not ask others to do it too. It is silly that it has been blown up into such a big issue when there are many other issues that affect the people left to be discussed and debated in the country.”

When asked about India’s economy, Rajini said, “Definitely the economic growth is very slow. The Central government must do whatever is necessary to address this.” On the day of the third demonetization anniversary, the actor, however sidestepped a question on the Modi government’s move, stating that he had already clarified on the same. Rajini had in 2016 supported demonetisation.   

While Rajini had announced his entry into politics on December 31, 2017, he is yet to formally launch his political party. He told reporters, “I will definitely act till I announce the political party. MGR acted till he became the CM.” The star has Darbar and another untiltled project with director Siva in the pipeline.

On the upcoming Ayodhya verdict Rajini issued a word of caution, asking people to maintain peace, whatever be verdict.  

When asked if there was space for him in the Tamil Nadu political arena, Rajini replied, “There is a space for a strong and right leader.”

BJP’s efforts to rope in Rajini for the 2019 General elections ended unsatisfactorily when the Superstar announced that he will not be contesting. He further asked his fans to vote based on their conscience and keep Tamil Nadu as a priority.

Despite this, on October 22, in a public meeting in Pudukkotai, Pon Radhakrishnan appealed to Rajinikanth to join the BJP.

Speaking to the media in Pudukottai, Pon Radhakrishnan said, “I wholeheartedly welcome him into the BJP-fold. He is knowledgeable with a keenness for being bold and honest. Moreover, he remains a superstar and I would be very glad if his embraces the BJP."

Pon Radhakrishnan also visited Rajinikanth on November 6 at his Poes Garden residence to congratulate him on winning the ‘Icon of the Golden Jubilee’ award, conferred by the IFFI.