Chennai: Tamilnadu politics has always been dominated by Tamil film personalities, and the AIADMK and DMK, the two Dravidian majors, know this better than anyone else. Chief Ministers of the past from these parties – C N Annadurai, M Karunanidhi, M G Ramachandran, V N Janaki and J Jayalalithaa – have strong cinema links and their filmi-fame played a key role in building their political career.
Cut to the present, while the AIADMK and the DMK lack star power, as their current heads are no cinema personalities, two top stars of Kollywood – Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan – have thrown their hat in the political ring.
And this has, obviously, made these Dravidian giants pull up their socks to face the ‘Superstar’ and ‘Nammavar’.
Though managers of the AIADMK and DMK speak out in open that they are not bothered about the political entry of Rajini and Kamal, sources in both parties say the ‘issue’ is being discussed by their leaders in internal meetings and strategies are being worked out to devise ways to woo the people, especially with just months left for the Lok Sabha elections.
While Kamal has confirmed contesting the parliamentary polls, Rajini is yet to take a call. Says Minister D Jayakumar, “We are not worried about these actors and they can’t take away even one per cent vote share of the AIADMK. In fact, the DMK has to be wary of Rajini and Kamal.”
He adds: “People would review the AIADMK MPs’ performance in next year’s Lok Sabha polls. We carry forward the legacy and rule of Amma and Puratchi Thalaivar MGR. There is no bigger star power than this.”
Without commenting about Rajini and Kamal, DMK treasurer Duraimurugan says, “Stalin has filled the vacuum left by Kalaignar and grabbed the attention of the whole country during the inaugural of Karunanidhi’s statue recently. He is as smart and sharp as Kalaignar. For example, when our functionaries coined the phrase ‘Makkalidam Selvom, Makkalai Velvom’ (Let us go to the people and win over them) as part of our campaign, he changed it to ‘Makkalidam Selvom, Makkal Manangalai Velvom (Let us go to the people and win over their hearts). This is just a small example of his leadership skills and he will sure gift the party a big victory in the upcoming polls.”
Suresh Babu A, a political analyst, says, “Rajini and Kamal command huge fan following and their popularity is certainly a threat for not just the AIADMK and DMK but for all other parties in Tamilnadu. If they contest in elections, even if they are not able to win, they may make or break the fortunes of others.”