TN by-poll: Support no one, Rajinikanth tweets

South superstar Rajinikanth tweeted Thursday morning that he supports ‘no one’ in the intense political battle for the RK Nagar constituency of Chennai, left vacant after former chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s death.

Rajinikanth has tweeted amid intense speculation after the BJP’s candidate for the April 12 by-poll visited him at his Poes Garden home, earlier this week.

Gangai Amaran, BJP’s candidate and the brother of renowned composer Ilayaraja, claimed after the meeting that he was invited by the star. His son Venkat Prabhu tweeted that Rajinikanth had wished Amaran “success.”

Though Rajinikanth has stayed away from active politics, his word is perceived by political parties as the weapon that can make or break a candidate. It is not unusual for candidates to seek photo-ops with the star as an endorsement just before polls.

In the 1996 Assembly elections, Rajinikanth’s comment that “Even God can’t save Tamil Nadu if Jayalalithaa wins” enabled a DMK sweep. Years later, he would praise Jayalalithaa as the “reincarnation” of a goddess.

Last month, Rajinikanth’s statement about liking “power” recharged buzz about the actor taking the plunge and floating a political party – until he clarified that he was speaking spiritually. “If money and fame are kept on one side and if I am asked whether I would want spirituality instead, I would pick spirituality because it has so much power. I am someone who likes power. Don’t mistake me,” he said.

There has been talk about Rajinikanth launching his party, reportedly with support from the BJP, which wants to make inroads in Tamil Nadu.

The contest for RK Nagar will feature seven prominent candidates. Amaran will face two AIADMK veterans E Madhusudhanan and TTK Dinakaran, and Jayalalithaa’s niece Deepa Jayakumar in the by-election.


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