Rajinikanth’s announcements evoke mixed reactions

Superstar Rajinikanth‘s comments that he has no interest in being Tamil Nadu’s chief minister, and prefers to remain the head of his prospective party — a role he says is akin to that of an opposition leader, has triggered mixed comments.

Speaking at a media meet in Chennai, he said, “We need a good leader. A good leader is someone who creates leaders. It is selflessness that drives me. I want a movement and a wave to come up. I believe there will be a wave to fill the leadership wave created by the death of Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi.”

He added: “In my party, I will give opportunities to people who are educated and below the age of 50, as also retired bureaucrats and reputed names from other parties who want to join me.”

Saying that two power centres will not create confusion in the party, he added that he has never imagined himself to be a contender for the Chief Minister post since he started observing Tamil Nadu politics from 1996.

Reacting to this, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K.S. Alagiri said, “I am still not confident that he will take the political plunge. He is a good actor and I like him. But he is not MGR. This is my personal view and this won’t stand in the way of Rajinikanth entering into politics.”

VCK chief Thol Thirumavalavan said the actor had indirectly indicated to his fans that he was not coming to politics. “From the 1990s, his fans have been urging him to enter politics. For the last few years he has been saying he will make an announcement. However, his fans would be disappointed today,” he added.

Naam Tamilar Katchi’s Seeman welcomed Rajinikanth’s announcement and wished him well. “This is what we have been fighting for 10 years and we are confident of winning,” he said.

AMMK supremo TTV Dhinakaran said, “Not to be CM candidate is actor’s view. There have been different styles, . When Periyar started Dravidar Kazhagam he did not want power. He fought for equality and social justice. Anna’s approach was different. He wanted power to achieve the goals.”

Director Karthik Subbaraj posted: “Clear Visionary, New Ideology ,Selfless, Practical,Genuine & Straight from the heart..That’s Thalaivar in Politics!! Great speech Thalaiva.. Our HOPE for a Political Change Folded hands Let the Movement begin.. இப்ப இல்லைனா எப்பவும் இல்ல!! #RajiniPoliticalRevolution #ThalaivarPressMeet.”

Filmmaker Arun Vaidyanathan tweeted: “முழுமனதாக ஆன்மீக அரசியலுக்கு எனது ஆதரவு.  மாமனிதர் ரஜினிகாந்த், இன்று முதல் ஒரு எதிர்கால சிந்தனை கொண்ட தலைவராக பரிமளிக்கிறார்! நல்ல விஷயங்களை நினைக்கிறார். நடந்தால் சந்தோஷமே. அந்த ரஜினி மக்கள் மன்ற ஃபார்மை அனுப்பி வைங்கப்பா!”

Political analyst Sumanth C Raman stated: “It has been a stirring speech from @rajinikanth . His next steps need to be watched but if this movement catches on then today could be a defining day in TN’s political history. Will it be? We need to wait and see. #Rajinikanth #RajinikanthPressMeet.”

Raman added: “We still don’t know who those honest talented people he is going to project are going to be. We still don’t know when his party will be launched. But  @rajinikanth  is now a significant factor for 2021. It is no longer a question of if but when. #Rajinikanth #RajinikanthPressMeet.”