Actor Vijay’s political entry has been speculated for years now and the buzz has grown stronger over the past few years.

Political party registered in Vijay's name: Father SA Chandrasekhar's Mersal move?
news Politics Thursday, November 05, 2020 - 18:47

In what could be his first step towards electoral politics, a political party has been registered in actor Vijay’s name. Legal representatives submitted the application to the Election Commission of India (ECI) to register his fans’ club as the ‘All India Thalapathy Vijay Makkal Iyakkam.'  Vijay is one of the biggest film stars in Tamil Nadu and has lakhs of fans across south India. However, it is unclear if the party has been registered under Vijay’s direct instructions. His father, director SA Chandrasekar, gave a cryptic message to the media when asked the question. “I have applied for registration of a political party in the name of ‘All India Thalapathy Vijay Makkal Iyakkam’. It’s my initiative. This is not Vijay’s political party. I can’t comment whether he will enter electoral politics,” he told NDTV.

He further said the fans club for Vijay that was started in 1993 were converted into welfare associations and that has been registered as ‘All India Thalapathy Vijay Makkal Iyakkam’. “Many youngsters are doing several good things in Vijay’s name. I want them to have some recognition. Hence the move,” he told Puthiya Thalaimurai.

Actor Vijay’s political entry has been speculated for years now and the buzz has grown stronger over the past few years. Especially with his recent films like Mersal and Sarkar taking a vocal stance on current issues like the Goods and Services Tax (GST), demonetisation, the state of India’s healthcare, cash for votes and so on, his political entry has been considered as imminent by many.

However, although Vijay has made his opinion known in issues like jallikattu and the NEET, he hasn’t spoken about his political ideologies openly so far. The actor has only taken on broad issues like corruption, without getting into which side of the political spectrum he falls or which parties are close to his political thought.

Vijay's run in with the BJP in Tamil Nadu was also the subject of controversy in 2017 when the actor's Mersal released. The film contained dialogues critical of the GST law. Insinuating a communal angle, BJP leader H Raja had tweeted out Vijay's election ID with his full name, Joseph Vijay, to imply that his criticism of the national ruling party's policies stemmed from his identity as a Christian. He also alleged that it was because of the actor’s religion that a scene from his film had him encouraging the building of hospitals in place of temples. H Raja’s contention was that since Vijay is Christian, his character in the film should have told people to build hospitals in the place of churches and not temples. Vijay’s religion is of no secret in Tamil Nadu, and the BJP leader’s act of tweeting the actor’s voter ID was widely condemned.

Just when there was ongoing tension between the BJP and Vijay, the actor was taken up for questioning by the officials of the Income Tax department when he was filming for his impending release Master directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj. He was brought to Chennai from his shooting spot in Neyveli and questioned by the officials. However, the department stated that the actor had paid all his dues promptly and had put an end to the speculation of tax evasion. Following this, Vijay tweeted a selfie of him with a background of hundreds of fans from the Master shooting spot with the words ‘Thank you Neyveli’.

The decision to register a political party comes at a time when Rajinikanth is said to be bowing out owing to his health. A letter claiming to have been written by the superstar was in circulation on social media, stating that Rajinikanth was pulling out of politics due to health concerns. Although Rajinikanth denied that the letter was from him, he said the contents of it were true. Rajini Makkal Mandram, which was formed from the actor’s fan associations, was meant to be the base for his political party. However, Rajini appears to have called it quits even before he could take the plunge.