A day after he met music composer Gangai Amaran, BJP's candidate for the high-profile and upcoming RK Nagar bye-polls in Tamil Nadu following the death of J Jayalalithaa, superstar Rajinikanth has claimed that he does not support anyone in the upcoming elections.
On Tuesday, filmmaker Venkat Prabhu, Gangai Amaran's son, tweeted a picture of Rajini with the music composer. The BJP candidate had visited the actor at his Poes Garden residence. Venkat Prabhu claimed that Rajinikanth had wished his father 'political victory'. The incident was widely seen as another public endorsement of the BJP by the actor.
Now, however, the actor has come out and categorically stated that, "My support is for no one in the coming elections."
My support is for no one in the coming elections.— Rajinikanth (@superstarrajini) March 23, 2017
Rajinikanth’s declaration is significant, since the actor’s public statements have been seen as affecting electoral fates in the past. In 1996, for instance, his statement against Jayalalithaa was seen as one of the reasons for the late CM’s defeat.
Rajinikanth had famously said before that election, “Even God can’t save Tamil Nadu if Jayalalithaa returns to power.” While a lot of public anger had grown against Jayalalithaa due to the ostentatious wedding of her foster son Sudhakaran and for the corruption allegations mounting against her, it cannot be denied that Rajinikanth’s statement added to this turmoil.
The actor had even expressed his regret for the episode following Jayalalithaa’s death.
Rajinikanth has also been a sympathiser of the BJP, and there have been sporadic rumours that the actor may join the party at one time or another. Rajinikanth has also been on good terms with PM Narendra Modi, and had even received a “courtesy call” from Modi ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
The RK Nagar elections is being seen by political factions within the AIADMK as a battle for former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's legacy and tensions are running high ahead of April 12. The Election Commission has announced the freezing of AIADMK's two leaves symbol, after hearing out arguments made by the Sasikala faction and the OPS camp.
This move is already seen as an advantage for the Opposition parties - DMK and BJP, whose 'rising sun' and 'lotus' symbols are well recognised in the North Chennai constituency. The picture of Gangai Amaran and Rajinikanth, doing the rounds on social media, was seen as a move to boost the BJP's popularity in the state.
The BJP announced Gangai Amaran as their candidate for the RK Nagar bye-polls last Friday. He had hit out at AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala’s corruption in February when she was in the race for the CM’s chair. Gangai Amaran is also claims to be a victim of Sasikala family’s strong-arm tactics to usurp property.