Tamil Nadu

Will Neta Rajinikanth have a party in six months?

Is Rajinikanth set to launch his party in the next six months? Yes, says Karate Thiagarajan, a Tamil Nadu Congress leader who was suspended from the party in June for criticising MK Stalin. He was reacting to Chiranjeevi’s advice to Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan to stay away from politics. 

“Rajinikanth is the only one who can fill in the political vacuum. He will launch his party in six months,” Thiagarajan, who is expected to join the actor when he launches his party, said in Chennai.

While it is not known if Thiagarajan is indeed privy to Rajini’s political plans, the fact is that the Superstar is likely to finish shooting his portion for `Darbar’ by end of October. The movie directed by AR Murugadoss is slated for a Pongal release in January 2020 (pic below). Which is why his birthday on December 12 is being spoken of as a possible day when he may announce his party. But since he generally chooses not to stay in Chennai on his birthday, he could choose the end of December, like he did in 2017 when he announced his political plunge on 31 December.

While those in the BJP are convinced Rajinikanth will get into politics full-time, the actor has been sending mixed signals. He is believed to have heard two more scripts, leading to speculation that he could look to do one more movie. If he announces his party in December, that would give him a good 16 months to the 2021 assembly elections in Tamil Nadu which is seen as a decent timeline to make a mark. Should he do one more movie, it would reduce that time period by almost half and it is not possible to do an NT Rama Rao in today’s day and age. 

In 1983, NTR had stormed to power in Andhra Pradesh within eight months of launching his Telugu Desam. He gained from the fact that there existed a vacuum in the opposition to the Congress. Tamil Nadu politics today, in sharp contrast, is an alphabet soup of political parties and there exists in the DMK, a ready alternative to the AIADMK.

The BJP would like Rajinikanth to be part of the grand alliance it is looking to form in Tamil Nadu. But it is still mulling its strategy vis-a-vis its equations with the AIADMK, given its twin leadership of Edappadi Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam. 

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