The point of conjecture is why did Rajinikanth give out such a press release at such a time, saying he would not be contesting the Parliamentary election, and his focus would only be on the state elections, which are technically due only in 2021?
Two weeks back itself MyNation had scooped the news that Rajinikanth would be away with his film shoot and will not involve himself with any sort of electioneering in Tamil Nadu.
And today, the superstar himself, in a simple and short press release, said he would not be contesting the Parliamentary election, and his focus is only on the state elections, which are technically due only in 2021.
Rajini also said that his support is not for any particular party, and advised his followers and fans to cast their votes wisely. Rajini, however, suggested to vote for the one who would offer a solution to Tamil Nadu’s perennial water crisis.
Cast your vote for a stable and strong government at the Centre, he concluded.
And this last bit of advice is being parsed as a tacit call to vote for the BJP/NDA. This, of course, means that most critics do believe that a stable and strong government is associated with the BJP and not its arch-rival, the Congress.
Be that as it may, now the point of conjecture is why did Rajini give out such a press release at such a time?
Well, the answers are tough, as Rajini keeps a safe distance from the media, and his close advisers or the ones he seeks out in such matters are also not known to leak information to the media.
But speaking to a cross section of people who have a fair idea of what is happening behind the scenes, the feeling is Rajini is basically pre-empting a few forces that were trying to use his name as a bait to strengthen their alliance.
It may be recalled that alliance conversations between parties are underway in right earnest in Tamil Nadu. The BJP and AIADMK are in talks with each other. The Congress and DMK are in talks with each other. The PMK is in talks with everyone.
As of now, the indication is — the situation is still fluid and bound to change — the DMK, Congress, Left, MDMK, VCK are in one group. The AIADMK, BJP, PT, DMDK, TMC (Tamil Maanila Congress) in another. The PMK is hovering in between and is ready to move in either direction.
Of course, there is Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Neethi Maiam (MNM). It is kind of lost in a limbo. But when talks fail over seat allocation (they generally do), some parties will break away from their alliance block. It is then that the MNM and those parties that are cast free will come free and float the kite of the Third Front, which has never really done well at the hustings, but can be a nuisance factor hampering the chances of the established players.
Coming back to Rajini, the news was that the BJP was using his name as a trump card to lure parties into its fold.
On the other hand, there was also a report that with Haasan being scathing in his criticism of the DMK’s corruption, the latter was trying to lure Rajini to its camp to offset the damage.
Rajini, to be fair, has been consistently saying that his focus was only the state elections. In December itself, he made it clear that he will float his party formally only around the time of the Tamil Nadu legislative polls.
So with him not being in the fray, Rajini did not want parties using his name to further their interests. Initially, his idea was to just keep quiet and move to his shooting schedule, which is expected to begin from March.
But he has been getting too many feelers from parties, and to keep them at bay, Rajini had to come out in the open and clear the air. “Now that he has spelled out his position firmly, he hopes all speculation will be laid to rest,” a source said.
As it happens, the speculation is now about the strong and stable government line and the implicit reference to the BJP.
Moral of the story is: The guessing game never stops when it comes to Rajini.
Last Updated 17, Feb 2019, 3:00 PM IST