Is Rajinikanth extending olive branch to DMK?

Rajinikanth consoling M K Stalin

Chennai: After Superstar Rajinikanth’s remarks in the presence of DMK working president M K Stalin, a couple of days ago, that Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami should have been there at Marina to pay his respects to M Karunanidhi, a war of words has broken out between the AIADMK cadres and the die-hard fans of the actor-politician on social media.

Taking part in a meeting organised by the film industry to pay tribute to Karunanidhi, Rajinikanth, said, “The entire Cabinet should have come. What will people think? Are you MGR or Jayalalithaa?”

Senior State Minister D Jayakumar hit back, saying, “It was a condolence meeting for a departed leader. It was not a healthy thing to have spoken politics there… By speaking politics, it is evident that dear friend Rajinikanth lacks political maturity.”

Rajinikanth with Stalin at the condolence meeting.

 Speaking to ‘News Today’, former AIADMK MLA Samarasam, said, “Rajinikanth lacks clarity. State honours were given by members of the three armed forces for Karunanidhi. He was given a 21-gun salute. The government immediately gave Rajaji Hall for keeping his mortal remains for public view.”
Since there was a legal dispute on allowing his last rites to be performed in the Marina, we willingly gave two acres of land near Sardar Patel Road. A legal battle began and everyone knows what happened after that, he said.
He expressed surprise at DMK’s silence on Rajini’s remarks hailing Karunanidhi. “They have not even acknowledged his words,” he said.
An AIADMK sympathiser said, “It may be an attempt to appease Stalin after his brother Alagiri alleged that many DMK leaders are in touch with Rajinikanth.”
Questioning the rationale behind AIADMK’s war cry against Rajinikanth, Arivu Selvan of Naam Thamizhar Katchi said, “When he endorsed the government’s views on protests against Sterlite, they (AIADMK) welcomed him. Now criticising him for speaking against them is not politically right.”
Vanniarasu of the VCK, welcoming Rajinikanth’s observation, said, “We are not against someone entering politics based on his / her caste, creed or language. Though we may have ideological differences with Rajinikanth and oppose him on several issues, I see his remarks against the Chief Minister as something spontaneous and there was no political motive behind it. We should react to every issue separately. We were the first to condemn when Rajini said holding protests for everything would turn Tamilnadu into a grave yard and also when he extended support for the Salem-Chennai eight-way green corridor.”
Fans of Rajinikanth have taken to social media to show their ire against the State ministers. One of the tweets read, “He had given his voice against Jayalalithaa in 1996 when she was all powerful. He never stayed away from expressing his opinions clear and bold.”

Politics of Tamilnadu revolves around him. When he floats his own party, for which all efforts are on, many selfish and corrupt politicians will get a jolt, said another tweet.

Rajinikanth speaking at the condolence meeting.

For their part, AIADMK partymen have come out with memes and funny lines taking a jibe at Rajinikanth. They allege that he wants to get desperately close to the DMK and make sure he stays alive in politics.

M BHARAT KUMAR