India’s top film actor Rajinikanth, above, says a one-liner for a hero in one of his Tamil hits: “A lion hunts alone whereas hyenas hunt in groups.”
On Tuesday, Rajini put the reel life dialogue in a different way in real life to indicate that the party he is set to form will support Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) he leads.
“If ten people (opposition parties) keep attacking or ganging up against one (Modi), who is the stronger,” he asked reporters.
Rajini’s message was clear. Politics makes strange bedfellows but voters know who the country’s strong leader is ahead of 2019 general elections.
On Monday, he left the media guessing after they sought his views on why so many rival parties are aligning against Modi ahead of the general elections and whether BJP is such a dangerous party as it is alleged to be.
If opposition parties feel that way, then it should definitely be so, he quipped.
This made some opposition parties think Rajini may not support BJP.
However, on Tuesday, he met the media again to clarify that while BJP may be a dangerous party for some, people will ultimately decide on that.
When a reporter asked him if Modi is so strong, the actor laughed and said it would be evident in 2019 elections.
On whether he would align with the BJP after he announces his party, Rajini said it would be decided later.
On Jan 1 this year, the actor announced his plans to take the political plunge and contest all 234 seats in Tamil Nadu assembly polls in 2021.
With national elections just months away, Rajini is expected to announce his party shortly.
Although Tamil Nadu politics is dominated by two rival Dravidian parties, Rajini’s entry into politics can help BJP expand its base in the state.
The death of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa has left a political vacuum which, many feel, Rajini can easily fill. Moreover, Tamils have a fascination for actors-turned-political leaders.
Rajini believes something is rotten in Tamil Nadu politics. He wants his supporters to become watchmen, not cadre, to uproot corruption plaguing the state. He also wants to elevate politics to a spiritual level beyond caste and religion.
In the meantime, actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan’s eight-month-old party Makkal Needhi Maiam or People’s Justice Centre is planning to contest the yet-to-be announced by-elections to 20 assembly seats in the state.
Hassan, who had played leading roles in language films across India for nearly five decades, says his party will contest all 39 seats in 2019 general elections.