Movie star’s rumored political ambitions spark fiery protest
TMP members object to the fact that Rajinikanth is not a Tamil Nadu native
About 30 members of the Thamizhar Munetra Padai (TMP) were detained by Chennai police on Monday, after they protested against the movie star Rajinikanth’s rumored plan to enter politics.
The protesters burnt the actor’s effigy outside his Poes Garden residence on Monday.
At Rajinikanth’s recent week-long fan meeting event, the actor made statements that fuelled speculation about his political intentions.
“The system is corrupt; we all need to work together to change it,” Rajinikanth, who is also known as “Superstar,” said on Friday.
CNN-News18 reported that Rajinikanth said that he would enter politics only when the “time is right.” As soon as the actor’s statements were publicized, speculation shifted to whether he would join the BJP. The latter has reached out to the popular actor, with Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari saying the party has an “appropriate place” for him, according to media reports.
“You can’t imagine the kind of support given to Rajinikanth in south India. He is a good human being. And he is Marathi. When you enter his house, you can see a big photo of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj,” Gadkari was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, the Times of India reported that the protesting TMP members, headed by Veeralakshmi, chanted anti-Superstar slogans and said there were millions of Tamils in Tamil Nadu who could rule the state and that they did not want to be governed by an actor, especially one who came from a neighboring state.
The 66-year-old actor, who was born Shivaji Rao Gaekwad in neighboring Karnataka, has been living in Tamil Nadu for over 40 years.