Superstar Rajinikanth, who was seen to be hesitant about his political career for most of last year, has pushed the pedal to the metal. The 67-year-old who launched a website and a mobile app after getting himself a new day job, on Wednesday reached out to the DMK patriarch, M Karunanidhi, 93, for his blessings.
As he walked out, Rajinikanth attempted to quickly spike speculation that he could align with the DMK. “I respect him a lot. I told him I am entering politics. I took his blessings,” Rajinikanth told reporters after the meeting with “the senior-most politician in the country”.
Mr Karunanidhi, he said, was “very happy” to hear about his political debut, he said. “I am very happy and energised”.
It was Rajinikanth’s first meeting with any political leader after announcing his decision to get into politics that he hopes, would be the starting point of “a political revolution” in the “historic” state of Tamil Nadu.
He hinted that it would be the last too.
The superstar, who inspires religious-like fervour among his legion of followers, suggested this was the only courtesy call with a political leader that he had scheduled so far.
Mr Karunanidhi and Rajinikanth go back a long way.
Back in 1996, it was Rajinikanth’s call to his supporters not to vote for J Jayalalithaa that was seen to have cost the AIADMK that year’s assembly elections, with a DMK-led coalition sweeping the election. He had, however, later described that call as “a mistake and an accident”.
But the association with the DMK leaders had nevertheless continued.
In August last year, Rajinikanth was front-row VIP at a function to mark 75 years of the DMK’s mouthpiece, ‘Murasoli’. Unlike Kamal Haasan who was on stage and had spoken about an offer from the DMK to join the party back in the 1980s, Rajinikanth had, however, not spoken at the event. DMK leaders had then explained his presence at the event to his personal relations with Karunanidhi and his son.
Rajinikanth’s appearance at Karunanidhi’s doors on Wednesday indicates the personal relationship would continue, despite his call to AIADMK and DMK party cadre disillusioned by the two parties to switch over.