What does Rajinikanth’s Political entry mean for Tamil Nadu?

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The BJP will be looking to make new alliances and make inroads in Tamil Nadu

Ajay U K

 Chennai (Tamil Nadu): Soon after Rajinikanth made clear his intentions of taking a political plunge, the BJP camp in the state is upbeat about the future. Khushboo Sundar said that the BJP was ready to welcome the superstar with ‘open arms.’

“If Rajinikanth wants to come along with us, then he is most welcome. But if he is going to start his own party like has said, I think he will go solo and will bring the change what he is looking at. We completely leave it to Rajinikanth to take a call on that.”, she said.

Superstar Rajinikanth’s appointment of Arjunamurthy Ra as the Party Chief coordinator, just hours after his announcement, along with his previous statements has indicated his liking for the Bharatiya Janata Party. According to senior journalist RK Radhakrishnan, there is a chance that Rajini’s political entry will threaten the dominance of the Dravidian parties, “When we look at Kamal Hassan, there is a balance as he visits both left leaders like Pinarayi Vijayan, also supporting schemes like Swacch Bharat of the Modi government. Rajini does not do that. He has a leaning towards BJP.”

Home Minister Amit Shah had visited Tamil Nadu last month for a government function. The function had political undertones as Amit Shah pitched Tamil pride in his speech. “Tamil people have been leaders in Science and arts. The contribution of its leaders and people cannot be forgotten.”, he said. The AIADMK also voiced its support to the BJP leadership at the Centre.

 In 2019, Rajinikanth had equated Modi-Shah duo to Krishna and Arjuna from the Mahabharata, calling Modi as ‘charismatic leader’. He had also voiced support to many of central government’s policies on several occasions.  His vocal support for the Citizenship Amendment Act, on which he said it won’t affect the Muslims, caused huge furore in the country and was met with severe criticisms.

Despite all these developments, the BJP will not have an easy job convincing Rajini to join the Hindu nationalist party. Following the Delhi violence, Rajinikanth had slammed the centre for intelligence failure, repeating his stand that he is not BJP’s mouthpiece. “Protests ought to have been contained with iron hand. Intelligence agencies didn’t do their job. Intelligence failure means it is the failure of the Home Ministry.”, he said.

Ahead of the 2021 Assembly elections, the BJP will be looking to make new alliances to the existing ones, with outcast DMK member MK Alagiri, son of the late Karunanidhi, indicating of forming his own party. Causing a situation like in Bihar, cutting down the Dravidian parties to size would benefit the otherwise insignificant BJP in Tamil Nadu. Kamal Hassan’s MNM can also play a spoilsport to the Dravidian party. The political void in the state which happened after the death of Karunanidhi and Jayalalitha can also prove to be a major factor.