DMK invites Rajini, Kamal; Political circles surprised

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Chennai: Actor Rajinikanth and Makkal Needhi Maiam founder Kamal Haasan being invited to attend the first death anniversary event of former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi 7 August has surprised political circles. The event is being organised in the premises of Murasoli, the party organ of the DMK, during which a statue of the DMK patriarch will be unveiled. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will unveil the statue of the leader at the daily’s office at Kodambakkam in Chennai.

Interestingly, Rajinikanth had expressed clearly that he would float his own party and fight 2021 Assembly elections. Recently his remarks won him the wrath of the DMK and a huge article was published in the party organ condemning him. Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam fought against the DMK in the recently-concluded last Lok Sabha elections and the actor-politician came down heavily on the DMK during his campaign. He was bitterly criticised in Murasoli and several leaders spoke against Kamal Haasan in the run up to polls.

Amidst such a scenario, the invitation extended to both is seen as a politically tactical move by experts. With election to Vellore Lok Sabha constituency around the corner, the DMK wants to show that they are not against Rajini or Kamal (Remember Makkal Needhi Maiam has decided to stay away from Vellore poll).

Says Thamu, a DMK supporter, “One has to wait and see what happens after statue unveiling. It is Stalin’s political diplomacy which will pay rich dividends. The AIADMK combine’s candidate for Vellore A C Shanmugham is considered close to Rajinikanth. To negate that advantage for him, the DMK has made this move.”

Meanwhile, MNM supporters say that this is what they want to see in the State. “However enemy we are on battle field, it is a basic courtesy to invite Kamal, who is known well to Karunanidhi. Let us not confuse this with any kind of political message. Kamal knows what has to be done.”

M BHARAT KUMAR